The Latest: New LA Times owner vows boost to its journalism

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FILE - In this May 16, 2016, file photo, pedestrians look at news photos posted outside the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles. It was announced Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, that the Los Angeles Times is being sold to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a local billionaire, for $500 million, ending its strained tenure under the owner of the Chicago Tribune. Soon-Shiong is a major shareholder of Chicago's Tronc Inc., one of the richest men in Los Angeles and, according to Forbes, the nation's wealthiest doctor, with a net worth of $7.8 billion. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Latest on the sale of The Los Angeles Times to a local billionaire (all times local):

7 p.m.

The billionaire doctor who bought the Los Angeles Times says returning the newspaper to local ownership will give the paper a chance to preserve its mission and its independence.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong (soon-shong) bought the Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune for $500 million on Wednesday from Chicago-based Tronc, Inc.

He sent a letter to the employees of both papers on Wednesday night, saying the decision to buy it is "deeply personal" for him and his family as residents of Southern California.

He says he's a great admirer of the work done on the newspapers, and assures the staffs that he will give them the tools and resources they need to produce high-quality journalism.

Soon-Shiong says growing up in apartheid South Africa helped teach him the value of a strong, independent press in making a free society.

___

6 a.m.

The Los Angeles Times is being sold to a local billionaire for $500 million, ending its strained tenure under the owner of the Chicago Tribune.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is a major shareholder of Chicago's Tronc Inc., one of the richest men in Los Angeles and, according to Forbes, the nation's wealthiest doctor, with a net worth of $7.8 billion.

The announcement Wednesday means that for the first time in 18 years the Times will be under local ownership. Soon-Shiong takes over in a time of turmoil at the paper. The paper just replaced its top editor, the third switch at the top job in the newsroom in six months. Publisher Ross Levinsohn is on unpaid leave after revelations that he was a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits elsewhere.

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