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The paper's soon-to-be former headquarters. Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

"Biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong [tomorrow] will take control of the Los Angeles Times," the L.A. Times' Meg James writes. "Soon-Shiong is spending $500 million to acquire [The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune] from Chicago-based Tronc."

Why it matters: "The deal, which was announced Feb. 7, returns The Times to local ownership after 18 turbulent years under Chicago control."

A humbling new home: "Soon-Shiong ... plans to relocate most of the 800 employees to El Segundo [in a building he owns near LAX] by the end of July, vacating the paper’s iconic Art Deco headquarters in downtown Los Angeles — The Times’ home since 1935."

  • Previous corporate owners sold it, and the lease is up.
  • "Soon-Shiong ... spent millions creating a 21st-century newsroom that encourages collaboration."
  • "The Times once boasted one of the world’s largest newsrooms, with more than 1,200 journalists and more than 25 foreign bureaus ... Now it employs about 400 journalists."

Go deeper

Updated 32 mins ago - Technology

Pandemic gave cover to online dating scams

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Crooked Casanovas used online dating scams to steal an estimated $500 million from lonely victims last year, according to a new analysis of government fraud data by Atlas VPN, an internet security provider.

Why it matters: The isolation of the lingering pandemic provided cover to fraudulent suitors who had an excuse for not meeting up in person even as they fleeced their would-be lovers out of gift cards, money — even cryptocurrency.

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — New York Supreme Court grants stay for indoor mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
50 mins ago - World

U.S. and Iran "in the ballpark" of a nuclear deal, Biden adviser says

Brett McGurk. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

White House Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk says the U.S. and Iran "are in the ballpark of a possible deal" to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement, but he “doesn’t want to put odds on it."

Why it matters: That's the most optimistic statement from the Biden administration since the nuclear talks resumed in Vienna last December. McGurk, who was speaking at a Carnegie Endowment event, didn’t explain the reasoning behind his assessment.

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