Tronc has agreed to sell the Los Angeles Times and its sister publication, The San Diego Union-Tribune, for $500 million to billionaire physician Patrick Soon-Shiong, NPR reports.
A Californian and investor in Tronc, Soon-Shiong takes over during a turbulent period at the paper, "which has seen three editors in six months, its publisher placed on unpaid leave amid a sexual harassment investigation, and a historic vote to unionize the newsroom," the Times writes. With his purchase, Soon-Shiong will succeed Tronc head Michael Ferro, whose tenure was deeply unpopular among the newspaper staff. The sale also marks the "first time in 18 years the Times will be under local ownership," AP notes.
"It's hard to imagine the new boss being worse than the Tronc era has been," wrote CNN's media correspondent Brian Lowry, formerly of the Los Angeles Times.