Tronc sells Los Angeles Times for $500M

Tronc sells LA Times, other publications for $500mn

The Los Angeles Times is being sold to a local billionaire for USD500 million, opening a new chapter for the 136-year-old newspaper's staff after an outright rebellion against the current owner. He now owns about 3 per cent of Tronc.

Shares of Chicago-based Tronc surged as much as 37 percent to $24.74, their highest since July 2014.

Los Angeles Times Publisher Ross Levinsohn, who has been on leave without pay for the past two weeks, has been cleared of sexual harassment claims and will take a new role with Times parent company Tronc as CEO of Tribune Interactive.

"Following an independent investigation and a report to the board of directors finding no wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Levinsohn, the board determined to reinstate Mr. Levinsohn and appoint him chief executive officer of Tribune Interactive", the company said in a statement. Soon-Shiong's repeated attempts to buy the Times past year were repulsed by Tronc.

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The deal requires the approval of federal regulators and is expected to close by early in the second quarter. Tronc did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment.

The LA Times, acquired by Tronc's predecessor Tribune Co in 2000, has undergone several management changes and rounds of layoffs, reflecting a struggle by legacy titles in general to adapt to digital media.

After the sales of the newspapers, Tronc will still own the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, the Baltimore Sun and the Orlando Sentinel, among others.

He's been an outspoken critic of the way Tronc has run the Times since he became a major investor about 18 months ago.

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