Tronc soars after finding a buyer for the Los Angeles Times (TRNC)

Tronc soars after finding a buyer for the Los Angeles Times (TRNC)

Almost $500 million in cash by billionaire L.A. resident Patrick Soon-Shiong is the final price tag for both the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, reports The Washington Post.

Now, their white knight may have arrived. He has hobnobbed with former Vice President Joe Biden on cancer issues and has launched a several biotech companies focused on "solving" cancer (he was actually the first biotech executive that newly elected President Donald Trump dined with in early 2017).

Soon-Shiong amassed his fortune in part by developing a cancer drug in 1991.

Tronc soars after finding a buyer for the Los Angeles Times (TRNC)

"In general this is just another example of sort of boutique buying of newspapers", said Jack Kranefuss, a media analyst at Fitch Ratings. "Today it's a thinner margin and it gets thinner every day".

News of the proposed sale was first reported by The Washington Post.

In an interview with the Times past year, Soon-Shiong acknowledged that as a major stockholder, he was unhappy with the way the Los Angeles Times was being run and felt a need to ensure its survival. "This is important to Los Angeles, California and the nation", the guild said. Tronc removed Mr Soon-Shiong from its board past year.

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A phone call seeking further comment from Soon-Shiong was not returned by press time.

Word of the possible sale was met with cheers in the Times newsroom, according to tweets from reporters.

Tronc shareholder and NantHealth founder and CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong is expected to buy the paper, people involved with the deal told the Post.

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Problems at the paper have persisted since Times Mirror, its parent, was sold to Chicago-based Tribune in 2000 as the newspaper industry was contracting amid the rise of the internet.

"Given the huge challenges still faced by news publishing in the age of Google/Facebook ad duopoly and still-onrushing digital disruption, even a billionaire has his work cut out for him", Doctor said. D'Vorkin will stay on with Tronc as Chief Content Officer of Tribune Interactive, the company said Wednesday.

In a separate statement, Tronc said it acquired a majority ownership stake in BestReviews, an online product review company based in San Francisco.

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The move comes after months of newsroom unrest at the storied Los Angeles daily that has seen three editors in the past six months, and a vote to unionize the journalists.

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