Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong has sold the San Diego Union-Tribune and other newspapers to Alden Global Capital in what he says is a bid to secure the future of both operations.
Now the US’ second-largest newspaper publisher behind Gannett, Alden owns about 200 publications including the Chicago Tribune. Its MediaNews Group owns the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Daily News.
Soon-Shiong bought the papers from Tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing) in 2018.
Now Union-Tribune employees have been told the Soon-Shiong family “made a good-faith effort to rebuild and support both news organisations.
“We hope this change now will position both the LA Times and San Diego Union-Tribune to succeed.”
MediaNews Group has told U-T employees cutbacks will be needed to offset “the slowdown in revenues as economic headwinds continue to impact the media industry”.
Staff were being offered buyouts, but were warned that others would be laid off if the company did not reach “a sufficient number of employees”. How many of the 220 jobs – 108 in the newsroom – would be cut was not clear.
Union-Tribune editor and publisher Jeff Light said he was grateful to the Soon-Shiong family, “who were good owners.
“Now it’s time to start another chapter. As our staff knows, this isn’t an easy business, but I have a lot of confidence in the future of the Union-Tribune.”