Earlier this month, Tribune Publishing fired Austin Beutner as publisher of the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Many industry experts had raised concerns about the future of LA Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune after Beutner was sacked by the company on September 8.
Billionaire Eli Broad and other Los Angeles leaders might be trying to enlist Oaktree Capital Management Co-Chairman Bruce Karsh, whose company owns almost a fifth of Tribune Publishing Co. stock, into the fight to regain local control of the Los Angeles Times.
Tribune Publishing Company (NYSE: TPUB) is a diversified media and marketing-solutions company that delivers innovative experiences for audiences and advertisers across all platforms.
“We strongly urge you to demonstrate to the news consumers of Southern California that the Times will continue to serve their interests”, they said. “At the same time, given the way our company is set up and given the secular realities of print advertising, our local publishers/CEOs have to (buy) into and be fully participating in the initiatives”.
The heat is on Tribune CEO Jack Griffin to put the L.A. back in the Los Angeles Times.
Several days before, dozens of influential, Los Angeles civic leaders signed an open letter to Tribune CEO Jack Griffin, expressing disappointment over Beutner’s dismissal. Griffin informed that no formal offer was made to acquire the California News Group.
It added the Times’ readership is “best served when its leaders, decision makers and journalists are established and invested members of the Los Angeles County community and reflect the commitment to this community that is reminiscent of its storied tradition”. The company expects to record $1.645 to $1.675 in annual revenue for year 2015. Many sources close to the matter also feel that most of the issues were related to financial performance and cost cutting.
Three of Beutner’s executive hires have already left the company after his firing, including Renata Simril, the paper’s chief of staff, Johanna Maska, communications vice president, and digital strategist Nicco Mele.
The Chicago Tribune has stated publicly that their operation in Southern California called Tribune Publishing isn’t doing too well financially & is doing quite poorly as compared to the rest of their company.
Tribune Board Fires Back