A lot of chatter around the Southland and across the country about the sale of the embattled Los Angeles Times, the parent company of The Burbank Leader. Last Wednesday it was announced local billionaire/investor/philanthropist, Patrick Soon-Shiong, had agreed to buy the Times, the San Diego Tribune, and the California News Group for “$500 million in cash plus the assumption of $90 million in pension liabilities.”
New owner for The Los Angeles Times
Soon-Shiong made the deal with Tronc Inc, a Chicago-based media company. The Times will be locally owned for the first time since it was sold by the Chandler family to Tronc’s predecessor, the Tribune Company, back in 2000. The Times has been in almost a constant state of upheaval over the past few years with cutbacks, layoffs, and a revolving door management. The stellar reputation of the Times as a powerhouse in newspaper journalism suffered. It is hoped the return to local ownership will bring much-needed stability and solid leadership. Here’s what some of its readers had to say about the deal.
The Burbank Leader
Also, the Leader could use some guidance. For quite a while, the Leader’s presence has been shrinking in its hometown. Who can forget a previous editor’s decision to remove all the Leader news racks from the streets. Now, other publications like the LA Weekly, The Tolucan Times, and the Burbank Independent are easier to find in the Media City than the Leader.
Oh, you can still find the Leader inside the Times on Wednesdays and Saturdays. However it can be pricey. I bought last Saturday’s edition of the Times at 7-Eleven and paid three dollars!
Also, when you open up the Leader, you quickly discover it’s very thin, not a lot to read. Perhaps, that will change with the new ownership.
Soon-Shiong makes a pledge
Soon-Shiong, a major stockholder in Tronc since 2016, said in a news release: “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.”
Born in South Africa, the former surgeon/UCLA professor has made a name for himself and huge amounts of money in medicine and research. Also, Dr. Soon-Shiong owns a stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, another local entity which has floundered and is now attempting to regain some of its former glory.