The Chicago Tribune has publicly stated that the Southern California operation of Tribune Publishing is not doing well financially, and doing poorly compared with the rest of the company.
Earlier this month, Tribune Publishing fired Austin Beutner as publisher of the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Yesterday evening (September 18), the Chicago Tribune, located in the home of Tribune Publishing, lashed out at Beutner's handling of the Southern California wing.
Jack Griffin, chief executive of Tribune Publishing said the Los Angeles Times was not on the same page as the rest of the company when it came to "full and committed participation" in company initiatives. Those initiatives incllude disciplined handling of costs.
Said the article, "Sources have pointed to lagging financial performance, especially on the cost side, and a series of unusual executive hires" as leading to Beutner's dismissal. The "sources" are probably inside Tribune Publishing, which probably leaked the same information to media publications, which have cited the same reasons for Beutner's dismissal.
Tribune Publishing's chief financial officer pointed the finger right at Southern California: "Revised guidance reflects lower forecasted revenue estimates for the year, concentrated in Southern California," she said. Tribune Publishing stock has been beaten up in recent months.
What does this mean for employees of the Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times? Probably even more layoffs. As Matt Potter has pointed out in the Reader, the executive who replaced Beutner, Tim Ryan, has a reputation as the "layoff czar."