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LAT NAMES PUBLISHER AND CEO: The Los Angeles Times Media Group, a division of the newly spun-off Tribune Publishing Company, has appointed entrepreneur, philanthropist and public servant Austin Beutner as its new publisher and chief executive officer, effective immediately. Beutner will oversee the company’s portfolio of newspapers and digital properties, including the flagship Los Angeles Times.
Beutner succeeds Eddy W. Hartenstein, who recently assumed the role of non-executive chairman of the Tribune Publishing board, and will report to Tribune Publishing chief executive officer Jack Griffin. Beutner’s appointment is the latest in a string of changes, spurred on by publishing veteran Griffin, who joined the company in April. Chicago-based Tribune Publishing spun off from Tribune Company on Aug. 4 and began trading its shares on the New York Stock Exchange Aug. 5. The company reported net income of $15.2 million, down from $21.9 million during the same three-month period the previous year. Total revenues were down 3.8 percent to $429.9 million from $446.9 million.
Beutner certainly has the financial skills necessary to right the ship. He was co-founder, president and co-ceo of independent investment bank Evercore Partners and also worked at the Blackstone Group. He left Blackstone to work for the government, where he led a U.S. effort to help Russia transition to a market economy after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2010, Beutner accepted a $1 annual salary to serve as First Deputy Mayor and Jobs Czar for the City of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times has recently added some new editors and promoted others: former Texas Tribune managing editor Brandi Grissom joins as enterprise editor on the metro desk; Shelby Grad has been promoted to assistant managing editor for California News, succeeding Ashley Dunn, who became deputy national editor, and national editor Kim Murphy becomes assistant managing editor for national/foreign.