Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong today announced he has completed the purchase of
the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune and
other entities in the California News Group, assuming full ownership
from Tronc (NASDAQ: TRNC).
Soon-Shiong completed the purchase of the California News Group titles
through NantCapital, his personal investment COMPANY. Soon-Shiong will
serve as executive chairman of the California News Group, restoring
local ownership to some of the top news organizations in the West.
“My family and I are truly honored and privileged to assume the mantle
of the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego
Union-Tribune and the California News Group. These are storied
institutions of democracy, and I am humbled to lead them into a new era
of local ownership,” Soon-Shiong said. “As an immigrant from South
Africa who lived under Apartheid, this is a dream come true.
“This purchase is personal to me: It’s about protecting vital
institutions because they are a core to our democratic values. I believe
that fake news is the cancer of our times. Institutions like The Times
and the Union-Tribune are more vital than ever. They have been bastions
of editorial integrity and independence with a long record of seeking
and finding truth while fighting fake news.”
Soon-Shiong is appointing Norman Pearlstine, an accomplished media
executive and respected editor, to serve as executive editor of the Los
Angeles Times. Pearlstine retired as vice chairman of Time Inc. last
year, having previously served as its chief content officer and
editor-in-chief. Pearlstine also served as the top editor at Wall Street
Journal and Bloomberg. He begins at the Los Angeles Times immediately.
Soon-Shiong said of Pearlstine: “I want the Times to reflect
my commitment to editorial independence, integrity and innovation. Norm
exemplifies that commitment. He shares my admiration for the Times’ staff
and the work they produce. He also has a sharp eye for talent. He will
help us develop and, where necessary, recruit best-IN-class journalists
as we begin to augment current offerings with new products for new
customers on new platforms.”
“I am grateful to Dr. Soon-Shiong for giving me the opportunity to work
with him,” Pearlstine said. “He has a singular vision for the Los
Angeles Times. He wants The Times to be his and his
wife Michele’s legacy. His passion for cutting-edge research, his love
of media and of Los Angeles, and his determination that The Times
reflect the diversity of the communities it serves is inspiring.”
Jeff Light, editor-in-chief and publisher of The San
Diego Union-Tribune, will continue in his role.
“Dr. Soon-Shiong has shared with me his commitment to journalism and
some of his vision for the future and I couldn’t be more excited to work
with him and continue to deliver the highest quality journalism for our
San Diego audience,” Light said.
Soon-Shiong’s priority for the publications will be an investment in key
newsroom resources, as well as the relocation of the Los Angeles
Times to its new permanent location in El Segundo. The move will be
completed by the end of July.
“I grew up believing the best newspapers ‘speak truth to power as the
voice of the people’,” Soon-Shiong said. “In the months and years ahead,
our publications will compete with the biggest news organizations in the
world, providing the platform to explore the future of media.”
Soon-Shiong’s purchase includes the Los Angeles Times, San Diego
Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times en Espanol (previously Hoy
Los Angeles) and other publications, including well known community
newspapers, under the California News Group.
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