Tribune Publishing CEO discusses leadership change at the L.A. Times
Tribune Publishing reiterated that it is moving forward as a cohesive company after firing the publisher of the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune and lowering its financial forecast for the year.
During a conference call Tuesday, Tribune Publishing Chief Executive Jack Griffin provided some details on why he believed the two Southern California newspapers needed new leadership.
On. Sept. 8, Griffin fired Austin Beutner, 55, as publisher in part because of a clash over whether the California papers should remain within the Chicago company’s newspaper chain.
Publishers at the company’s papers are “charged with participating fully in our companywide initiatives,” Griffin said during the 10-minute call. “This approach is the cornerstone of our company’s strategy and is as important to the overall health of Tribune Publishing as it is to each of the individual businesses and newspapers in our portfolio.”
He said the current executive team is “all rowing in the same direction to create value.”
Company executives also discussed their decision Friday to lower the company’s financial estimates for this year. They now expect total revenue of $1.65 billion to $1.68 billion, down from their previous estimate of $1.67 billion to $1.7 billion. They also lowered expected adjusted earnings by about 10%.
Chief Financial Officer Sandra Martin said revenue projections were revised to better reflect 2015 trends in advertising revenue. The company also “carefully evaluated” cost-cutting plans at The Times and decided that “prior projections would not result in end-year savings opportunities.”
Since Friday, shares of Tribune Publishing have fallen 22% to $8.27.