Soon-Shiong Confirmed Buyer of LA Times; Publisher Levinsohn Stays On

Soon-Shiong Confirmed Buyer of LA Times; Publisher Levinsohn Stays On

Soon-Shiong Confirmed Buyer of LA Times; Publisher Levinsohn Stays On

On Wednesday, Chicago-based Tronc announced the sale of The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune to Soon-Shiong's investment firm Nant Capital for almost $500 million in cash.

Nant Capital will assume $90 million in pension liabilities in the deal, expected to close in the late first quarter or early second quarter of 2018.

'I am concerned there are other agendas, independent of the newspaper's needs or the fiduciary obligations to the viability of the organization, ' he said at the time. (Not the guy from Star Trek.) He replaced Lewis D'Vorkin, former editor of Forbes, who only lasted three bitterly contested months.

The LA Times Guild, which recently won the right to represent employees, welcomed the news, saying it "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". After just five months as the paper's top editor, D'Vorkin became the chief content officer at Tronc instead.

Tronc said Wednesday Levinsohnn was cleared of any wrongdoing and would be reinstated as CEO of its newly reorganized Tribune Interactive division.

After The Washington Post first reported a potential sale Tuesday, cheers spread through the Times newsroom.

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Billionaire physician and investor Patrick Soon-Shiong agreed Wednesday to buy the Los Angeles Times, in a move aimed at reviving the fortunes of the newspaper amid recent turmoil.

"He's incredibly wealthy, very smart and, as tends to be the case with billionaires, he has a big ego and he has thin skin", Kahn said.

Soon-Shiong's full-time job is leading NantWorks, a business group housing a number of health care companies in pharmaceutical, cell research and health care consulting. He is now the executive editor at The New York Times.

Levinsohn's leave of absence commenced after a National Public Radio report that he was a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits.

It's unclear whether Soon-Shiong will use his new position as LA Times owner to influence coverage, including of his many medical projects and connections with various Los Angeles businesses.

Born in 1952 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa to parents who fled China during World War II, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong has said he learned the value of a free press growing up in a country that during his youth still practiced apartheid. It's the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the United States.

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