Journalists at the Los Angeles Times have so far this year had their newsroom unionized, their publisher put on leave due to a sexual harassment investigation, a new editor-in-chief hired, a Tronc plan to create an alternative newsroom of contributors discovered, and a business editor suspended reportedly for leaking all this year (it’s February). As the newsroom settled back down, the apparent new normal of uncertainty continued as parent company Tronc sold the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Dr. Soon-Shiong bought the paper for $500 million as well as the assumption of $90 million in pension liabilities. In addition to the two newspapers, the Los Angeles Times will assume control of the Washington, D.C. bureau according to Tronc’s 8-K filing.
“We look forward to continuing the great tradition of award-winning journalism carried out by the reporters and editors of the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune and the other California News Group titles,” Dr. Soon-Shiong said in a statement.
Dr. Soon-Shiong sent an email to employees on Wednesday afternoon detailing his motivation and love for Southern California. He also stated that he “will work to ensure that you have the tools and resources to produce the high-quality journalism that our readers need and rely upon.” Several journalists tweeted out that they saw his note as a positive.
The Los Angeles Times Guilt congratulated Dr. Soon-Shiong in a statement and said, “The L.A. Times looks forward to working with a local owner who can help us preserve The Times as a guardian of our community and as the voice of the American West.”