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  • Writer's pictureRuss Newton

What I did after Visiting Billy

So with Billy ill in the hospital, i ended up going to Austin Beutner's home and visiting with him. Austin is one of if not the smartest people I have had the pleasure of knowing. Google him if you want to know more abut him, he is a fascinating human being to know and call a friend. I went to his house and spent a couple of hours catching up with him. He is currently running the LA Unified school district and is doing the best job anyone can do with such a challenging post. He is the last publisher enjoyed working with at the LA Times. Here is a funny story. In April of 2015 I had it with work. We had just completed another layoff and this time i didn't feel any empathy for the employees impacted. That meant to me I was done, i no longer had what it took to work. So I spoke with my wife, talked to my investment guy and decided to retire at 55. So, went into a 1 on 1 meeting with Austin and in this meeting told him I was retiring in the next six weeks. His reply was interesting and confusing to me He said "How can your retire if your living in San Diego?" I said, I am not, I will be living in Wisconsin. He said "but you have to live in San Diego." I said why? He replied "If your the publisher you must live in the market". Well, that ended my thoughts of retirement. For a guy like me, this was an impossible dream come true. I had a lot of ideas after working in the industry for 40 year but never thought i would get a chance to use them. So more on my time in San Diego later, but I didn't retire in April 2015 like I thought I would. Thanks to Austin for seeing potential where others had not.

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16 août 2020

Way cool you got to know and spend time with Austin Beutner. I've followed him in the news over the years and believe him to be a logic and reason driven leader. These days, that seems to be a very rare quality.

I enjoy reading your "Life Lessons" on this blog as well as the ones you recounted in person over the years. Is there a life lesson you can share about your appointment to, and time spent at the San Diego Union Tribune?

I've only heard rumors that it was one of those "honest, good guy gets smashed by evil empire" type stories. Something about trying to fairly report revenues when Tribune wanted to put forth a false narrative.…

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