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Los Angeles Times owner sells San Diego Union-Tribune to Media News Group

LOS ANGELES — The owner of the Los Angeles Times has sold its sister paper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, to Media News Group, which owns hundreds of newspapers across the country, the paper said Monday.

The decision comes after the Los Angeles Times announced last month that it would cut 13%, or 74, of its news editorial positions to deal with financial difficulties.

The Union-Tribune, which covers California’s second-largest city, will be affiliated with the same chain that owns many of Southern California’s newspapers. The parent company, Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund in New York, has acquired newspaper companies across the United States and has been criticized for cutting budgets and personnel.

The new owner has been proposing to buy the employees until next Monday, and may fire them, the Union-Tribune reported. Media News Group California executive vice president Sharon Ryan wrote in an email to employees, the paper reported, saying, “As economic headwinds continue to impact the media industry, revenue We need to cut jobs to offset the slowdown,” he said. Efforts will be made to cut back from the newsroom, the email said.

The LA Times and Union-Tribune were acquired in 2018 by billionaire Patrick Sunciong and his family from Chicago-based Tribune Publishing for $500 million. The sale of Union-Tribune was completed on Monday, according to a memo to staff from Chris Argentieri, president and chief executive of the California Times.

The sale price was not disclosed.

“Our current intention is to focus on the ongoing work of transforming the Los Angeles Times into an independent institution,” Patrick Sunción said in a statement included in Argentieri’s memo. . “Our hometown of Los Angeles and California, in fact the West Coast, needs a strong, independent news outlet. We believe in the LA Times and are fully committed to its future.”

In a memo, Argentieri said the owners had “made a sincere effort to rebuild and support both media outlets.”

“We hope that this change will put both the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune in a position of success,” he wrote.

Argentieri did not disclose the amount of the sale, nor did he say whether Union-Tribune, which has 220 employees, will be laid off.

According to its website, Denver-based media news groups include the Denver Post, San Jose’s Mercury News, the Orange County Register, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Boston Herald. It owns 68 daily newspapers and more than 300 weekly magazines nationwide. He has over 60 million monthly readers in print and online combined.

The company distributes, through Southern California News Groups, the Los Angeles Daily News, Press Enterprise of Riverside, Daily Breeze, Press Telegram, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star News and Whittier Daily News. It also owns News, San Bernardino Sun and Inland. Valley Daily Bulletin and Redlands Daily Facts.

The news industry has been rocked in recent months by job cuts at news outlets such as the Washington Post and National Public Radio. The Los Angeles Times’ decision to exit sister papers comes days after reporters from 20 local newspapers across the country resigned, calling for an end to painful cost-cutting measures at Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper chain.

Gannett said the cuts are intended to address declining revenue from weaker advertising revenue and customer subscriptions.

The newspaper industry has long struggled with challenges such as advertising moving from paper to digital and readers abandoning local newspapers for online sources and entertainment.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times LLC. Los Angeles Times owner sells San Diego Union-Tribune to Media News Group

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