HomeBad Ass AsiansUPDATED: LA Times & San Diego Union Tribune Sold to Patrick Soon-Shiong

UPDATED: LA Times & San Diego Union Tribune Sold to Patrick Soon-Shiong

Patrick Soon-Shiong
Partick Soon-Shiong

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has bought the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune from parent company Tronc for nearly 500 million dollars, the company announced this morning.

The Los Angeles Times reports the deal came together over the last five days.

It follows a period of turmoil for the Times. The paper has gone through a number of editors and publishers and it’s workers last month voted to unionize.

Soon-Shiong, 65, is a South African-born American surgeon whose worth is estimated at nearly $8 billion dollars by Forbes. He was born to Chinese immigrant parents who escaped the Japanese occupation of China in WWII, according to Wikipedia.

He is currently an adjunct professor of surgery at UCLA where he also leads the Wireless Health Institute. Soon-Shiong is also chair of Nantworks, a company which describes its single mission as delivering on “the true promise of The Cognitive Age…combining the collective promise of science, technology and communication. And then making it accessible to all people.”

“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,” Soon-Shiong said in a statement.

Richard Prince of the diversity media blog Journal-isms reported that staff at the LA Times exchanged hugs and high fives as news of the sale spread.


“Smiles in the newsroom that have not been seen in months,” Michael Ottey, assistant national/foreign editor, said on Facebook. “The smiles I speak of were also from yesterday when the possible deal was announced…people were very happy, hugging, high-fives…I think today as it’s now a done deal there will be even more joy, ” he told Journal-isms.

What the sale means for the two papers is still to come, but analysts say it will take a lot for Soon-Shiong to turn the papers around.

“Patrick Soon-Shiong is a doctor and I hope that he can stand the sight of blood because it is going to take a lot of investment to turn the paper around,” Gabriel Kahn, a journalism professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, told the LA Times.

He is number 55 on Forbes 400 list and became a doctor at age 23.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti chimed in on the sale with a tweet.

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