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.
Shares of Tronc soared 20% in early Wednesday trading after the company found a suitor to buy the Los Angeles Times.
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.
Discontent intensified during a staff meeting when Mr D'Vorkin said that anyone involved with leaking a recording of a previous meeting to The New York Times was "morally bankrupt", according to several people in attendance. He now owns a 3% stake.
The sale of the Los Angeles Times is in keeping with one of two trends in media ownership: big companies getting bigger and wealthy investors taking on newspapers as philanthropic endeavors, said Al Tompkins, a senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute. The appointment of Kirk, a veteran newsman, relieved some of the tension stirred up by his predecessor, Lewis D'Vorkin, a former Forbes editor who did little to foster a close working relationship with his journalists.
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"It's still very big and has a great franchise", Edmonds said.
The deal coincides with an unrelated announcement of the formation of Tronc Interactive, a new division to be focused on business.
"I'd say this is good news, but with a caveat", said Dan Kennedy, a Northeastern University journalism professor and author of a forthcoming book on the efforts of Bezos and Henry to remake American newspapers. The two also clashed over the sale of the parent company to Gannett, with Soon-Shiong in favor and Ferro opposed. 'My goal is to try and preserve the integrity and the viability of the newspaper'. Levinsohn was named publisher in August.
In recent weeks, reporters and editors grew concerned that management was keeping them in the dark about the company's strategic plans, which appeared to include the hiring of new editors and outside contributors who would produce centralised content across Tronc's publications. It's the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the United States.
'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.
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