|(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)|
And then come back and read the official story that starts below.
After just more than a year on the job, Tribune Publishing dismisses Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner.
by Robert Channick Chicago Tribune
In a major newspaper industry shakeup, Austin Beutner was fired Monday as publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, sources close to the situation said.Beutner, who had been heading up the largest newspaper in the Chicago-based Tribune Publishing chain, was let go for what sources said was lagging financial performance and a series of expensive executive hires seen by some as a prelude to a potential political run for the city's former deputy mayor.
No successor has been named, according to sources, leaving the California News Group in limbo as Tribune Publishing looks to realign those operations with its broader portfolio, where the Chicago Tribune and other properties have outperformed it financially.
A spokesman for Tribune Publishing declined to comment Monday morning.The rest of the story is here.
Beutner was named to his post in August 2014, one week after Tribune Publishing spun off from Tribune Media as a standalone newspaper company under CEO Jack Griffin.
In May, Tribune Publishing, which owns 11 daily newspapers, acquired the San Diego Union-Tribune for $85 million and put both operations under Beutner. Sources said Monday that Tribune Publishing was unhappy with financial performance of the two brands, specifically the Los Angeles Times, which represents a third of the company's revenue.
A number of Beutner's high-profile hires didn't sit well with Tribune Publishing, especially those with political undertones.
Last November, Internet strategist Nicco Mele, who helped move political campaigning into the digital era, was named deputy publisher of the Los Angeles Times. Johanna Maska, who served in various roles with the Obama administration, was named vice president of marketing and communications at the Los Angeles Times in April.
Those hires fueled speculation that Beutner was setting himself up for another political run, perhaps for governorship of California, sources said.
Advertising revenue continues to fall for the Chicago-based newspaper company, which is seeking to bolster operations through acquisitions, cost-cutting and an aggressive digital transformation. The San Diego acquisition was driven by Tribune Publishing, but sources said leadership not satisfied with Beutner's execution on that strategy.