In January, Jack Griffin, the chief executive of Tribune Publishing Company, took his senior management team to visit The Los Angeles Times, the jewel in his company’s portfolio of newspapers.
At a reception at the newspaper, and a dinner downtown, there was one notable absentee — The Times’s new publisher, Austin Beutner. At meetings the next day, he showed up for just an hour, to make a presentation on his strategy for the paper — one squarely at odds with that of its corporate parent.
Tribune has long pushed to centralize virtually all operations and direct them from headquarters in Chicago, running its newspapers as a group.
Mr. Beutner, 55, a prominent Angeleno who made a fortune in finance and who once served as deputy mayor, was outlining an independent path for The Times that was relentlessly local and focused on better technology, new sections and events.