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AirTalk special: Interview with new LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong

Billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong officially takes control of the<em> Los Angeles Times</em> and <em>The San Diego Union-Tribune</em> as soon as Monday, sources familiar with the deal tell NPR.
Billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong officially takes control of the Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune as soon as Monday, sources familiar with the deal tell NPR.
Evan Vucci/AP

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The historic sale of the Los Angeles Times to biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong closed last month.

Soon-Shiong, 65, took control of The Times, San Diego Union-Tribune and a handful of community newspapers from Chicago-based Tronc. The $500 million deal, which was announced on Feb. 7, returns The Times back to local ownership after nearly two decades under Chicago control.

Born in South Africa to Chinese immigrants, Soon-Shiong built a fortune by building and selling two biopharmaceutical companies. He holds a small ownership stake in the Los Angeles Lakers. Today, Forbes magazine estimates his fortune at $7.6 billion.

But with such an impressive business profile, Soon-Shiong is yet to be tested in the field of journalism. He has pledged to restore The Times reputation as a journalism powerhouse. "There's no agenda, other than to make this the best journalistic institution," Soon-Shiong said in a statement.

We check in with Soon-Shiong to talk about his plans for the Los Angeles Times and what will the future of the publication look like under his leadership.


Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner and executive chairman of the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times en Español and other publications under the California News Group; CEO and Chairman of Nantworks, a health care and biotech company based in Culver City; he tweets @DrPatSoonShiong​

Norman Pearlstine, executive editor of the Los Angeles Times; former media executive, who has previously held key positions at Time Inc., Bloomberg L.P. and the Wall Street Journal; he tweets @NPearlstine