Tronc sells LA Times to world's richest doctor

The Los Angeles Times in a newspaper vending machine. Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

Newspaper owner Tronc sold the Los Angeles Times to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong for $500 million, according to the AP. Soon-Shiong is also buying the publication's sister newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The backdrop: The deal comes on the heels of ongoing tensions between the paper’s top ranks and journalists that has spilled into public view in recent weeks.

Who is Patrick Soon-Shiong:

  • Per Axios' Bob Herman, Soon-Shiong is the world's richest doctor and chief executive of NantHealth, and he's reportedly known to hype his own products and steer business back to his own companies.
  • An investigation by the health news website STAT, last year found that Soon-Shiong’s plan to eradicate cancer under his “Cancer MoonShot 2020” has made “very little scientific progress.” The publication said it appears to be a marketing ploy for the doctor to promote his expensive new cancer diagnostic tool.
  • STAT reported Soon-Shiong declined repeated requests for comment, but spokeswoman Jen Hodson sent in statements attributed to him said there has been “remarkable progress.”