Los Angeles Times owner expected to sell following staff union

  • The abrupt move would mark the end of a long and troubled relationship between the LA Times and Chicago-based Tronc, which also owns the Chicago Tribune.
  • Tronc shareholder and NantHealth founder and CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong is expected to buy the paper.
Pedestrians walk past the front of the Los Angeles Times building on June 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
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Pedestrians walk past the front of the Los Angeles Times building on June 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

American media publishing company Tronc is expected to announce it is selling California property the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post reported.

Tronc shareholder and NantHealth founder and CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong is expected to buy the paper, people involved with the deal told the Post. Soon-Shiong is also expected to buy the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The abrupt move will mark the end of a long and troubled relationship between the LA Times and Chicago-based Tronc, which also owns the Chicago Tribune.

The LA Times and its parent company have feuded over the paper's management and direction ever since Tronc, then the Tribune Company, purchased the Times in 2000. A bankruptcy filing and several rounds of layoffs bred discontent in a shrinking staff, which finally moved to unionize in January, The Washington Post reported.

The Los Angeles Times has been the source of sale rumors before. Interested buyers have included media mogul David Geffen and billionaire investors Eli Broad and Ron Burkle.

Terms of the would-be deal were not disclosed, but Rick Edmonds, a media-business analyst at the Poynter Institute, estimated the Times accounts for between 30 and 40 percent of Tronc's $353.1 million revenue.

"It's still very big and has a great franchise," Edmonds said. "I think they could get a pretty good price. It's an attractive property."

A Tronc spokesperson declined to comment on the reported sale.

Read more about the sale of the Los Angeles Times from the Washington Post.