LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Former investment banker and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner was named publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Times, the newspaper announced Monday.
Beutner, 54, who was co-founder of an investment banking firm, Evercore Partners, succeeds Eddy Hartenstein, who was recently named the non-executive chairman of the company. Beutner will report to Jack Griffin, chief executive of Tribune Publishing Co.
The appointment is effective immediately, according to the company.
A New York native who grew up in Michigan before moving to Los Angeles in 2000, Beutner becomes the 14th publisher in the storied history of the Los Angeles Times.
“Los Angeles and California are where America and the world come to see its future, and with a renewed energy and focus, The Times can inform all of us,” he said in a statement. “I’m honored to become part of The Times’ storied 132-year tradition of excellence.”
Beutner was co-founder, president and co-CEO of Evercore Partners, which he helped build into one of the leading independent investment banks in the world. Before that, he worked for Blackstone Group, becoming the private equity
capital firm’s youngest partner at age 29.
He followed his time at Blackstone by leading a U.S. effort to help Russia transition to a market economy in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Beutner became Los Angeles’ first deputy mayor and jobs czar under Antonio Villaraigosa in 2010.
Beutner serves as the Board Chair of CalArts, along with serving on the boards of The California Nature Conservancy, the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education, the Pacific Council on International Relations, and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
USC Annenberg School of Journalism Professor Gabriel Kahn told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO Beutner’s appointment is a bold choice considering his career background.
“He has no experience in publishing, but these days, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, partly because the publishing environment is changing so quickly,” said Kahn.
Prior to his appointment, Beutner had been a leading a private group which sought to purchase The Times, according to Kahn.