Fired Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner posted a farewell note on Facebook and said he did do because his access to his LA Times email was cut off. Beutner was removed earlier today and will be replaced by Timothy Ryan, publisher of the Baltimore Sun. I reported the Ryan connection earlier this morning; Tribune has now announced it but has yet to say anything about Beutner.
An excerpt of Beutner's parting thoughts on Facebook:
I am writing to let you know that I am leaving the Los Angeles Times, effective immediately. I am not departing by choice, nor is this some “mutual agreement” on my part and Tribune Publishing. Tribune Publishing has decided to fire me. I am sorry you will read this on social media, but I no longer have access to my Times email.
I agreed to become the Publisher and CEO of the Times because I believe in Los Angeles and recognize the unique role the Times plays in our community. It is the civic conscience which holds accountable those with power in Los Angeles, helps celebrate what is good in our community, and provides news and information to help us better understand and engage with the world around us. As the thousands who attended The Taste, our annual celebration of food, this past weekend experienced, the Los Angeles and California story really does begin here at the Times.
It has been about a year since I joined the Times. We have much to be proud of as we worked together to breathe new life into an organization which had labored under the burden of massive change in the newspaper industry, compounded by a contentious merger followed by a lengthy bankruptcy.
Importantly, the Times is also creating a digital future, engaging audiences in innovative and new ways. The “Fight of the Century” guide to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, published in English, Spanish, and Tagalog on Flipboard, had more than 1 million viewers around the world. Our “California Conversation” with California Governor Brown on “Water in the West” was held before a live audience, watched on TV in almost 1 million households, and read by more than 1.5 million people in print and online. “Trail Guide,” our live blog on the presidential campaign, has drawn 1 million readers since making its debut in July.
We have launched 20 email newsletters to engage directly with audiences in particular areas of interest, ranging from “Essential California,” which provides the daily pulse of California, to “Counter Intelligence,” Jonathan Gold’s weekly sample of food and culture in Los Angeles, to “Water and Power,” the definitive source for information about the drought. Several of the newsletters have more than 100,000 subscribers and a few have open rates as high as 50%--far better than the industry average. Sponsors are finding these newsletters the ideal way to reach an engaged, target audience. …
I am particularly proud the leadership at the Times has begun to better reflect the community we serve. Among the changes, the Times now has its first female Managing Editor, its first Latino Sports Editor, and “Black Twitter” is an assigned beat. Plans are underway to publish more content in Spanish and a partnership is being developed to serve the needs of a Chinese-speaking audience in the US and in China….
When I agreed to take this job, many people told me it was an impossible task. Why take on the challenge? For me, the choice was easy. I could not imagine Los Angeles without a vibrant LA Times. I still can’t.
It has been a privilege to serve in this role and work with all of you. Thank you for your hard work and support and your continuing belief in the Los Angeles Times and what it means to our community.
California is where America comes to see its future and the place where that story begins is the Los Angeles Times.
I will continue to root for you to succeed.