Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Trumping Tronc

U-T insists that its ideological slant is determined in San Diego

Might Trump take up big media shareholder Patrick Soon-Shiong’s reported pitch to be the president’s “health care czar”?
Might Trump take up big media shareholder Patrick Soon-Shiong’s reported pitch to be the president’s “health care czar”?

President Donald Trump hasn’t been drawing much support from the traditionally Republican San Diego establishment, much of which derives a big chunk of change from its free-trading ties to Tijuana and cheap manufacturing. Another component of the city’s ebbing GOP passion has been 2015’s transfer of control of the Union-Tribune from Republican kingpin Doug Manchester to the Chicago-based newspaper chain now known as tronc, which has allowed the paper’s editorialists to veer left, including backing Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated presidential bid. “It was the first time since the founding of The San Diego Union in 1868 that the editorial board had endorsed a Democrat for president,” noted the paper’s opinion chief Matt Hall.

But could the U-T’s year-long Prague Spring be cut short by the singular ambition of one of tronc’s biggest shareholders? The website STAT, specializing in news of the medical industry, has reported that Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is lobbying Trump and associates to become the administration’s “health care czar.” He “was invited to meet the president and his team and had several meetings and discussions regarding health care issues of national importance, including the need to reform health care delivery rather than just payment,” Ronald Olson, a Soon-Shiong advisor is quoted as saying.

Said to be worth $8.8 billion from biotech stock-market plays, Soon-Shiong last year emerged as an ally in tronc chairman Michael Ferro’s battle against news giant Gannett’s aborted takeover bid. The pair are now the two top tronc stockholders, with Soon-Shiong controlling 16 percent and Ferro almost 25 percent. The U-T has insisted that its ideological slant is determined in San Diego, but the influential Soon-Shiong’s ambitions aren’t easily discounted, and some worry he could be using his purported sway over tronc’s newspapers as a selling point with fellow billionaire Trump.

A precedent for such influence came last March when tronc-owned papers, including the U-T, lined up as one to condemn the Obama administration for killing a tronc takeover deal for the Orange County Register and Riverside Press Enterprise on anti-trust grounds. “By consolidating back-end operations, we are able to save money in ways that don’t directly affect readers,” opined the Baltimore Sun. Added its sister, the Florida Sun-Sentinel: “Partnerships and the acquisition of regional newspapers are helping metro dailies stay in business and focus on what they do best: telling people what’s going on locally.” Tronc’s failed Orange County deal, pronounced the U-T, “might have meant higher journalism standards and consolidations that could have preserved more journalism jobs.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Who Needs Halloween?

Mayor Faulconer pleads for cancellation
Might Trump take up big media shareholder Patrick Soon-Shiong’s reported pitch to be the president’s “health care czar”?
Might Trump take up big media shareholder Patrick Soon-Shiong’s reported pitch to be the president’s “health care czar”?

President Donald Trump hasn’t been drawing much support from the traditionally Republican San Diego establishment, much of which derives a big chunk of change from its free-trading ties to Tijuana and cheap manufacturing. Another component of the city’s ebbing GOP passion has been 2015’s transfer of control of the Union-Tribune from Republican kingpin Doug Manchester to the Chicago-based newspaper chain now known as tronc, which has allowed the paper’s editorialists to veer left, including backing Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated presidential bid. “It was the first time since the founding of The San Diego Union in 1868 that the editorial board had endorsed a Democrat for president,” noted the paper’s opinion chief Matt Hall.

But could the U-T’s year-long Prague Spring be cut short by the singular ambition of one of tronc’s biggest shareholders? The website STAT, specializing in news of the medical industry, has reported that Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is lobbying Trump and associates to become the administration’s “health care czar.” He “was invited to meet the president and his team and had several meetings and discussions regarding health care issues of national importance, including the need to reform health care delivery rather than just payment,” Ronald Olson, a Soon-Shiong advisor is quoted as saying.

Said to be worth $8.8 billion from biotech stock-market plays, Soon-Shiong last year emerged as an ally in tronc chairman Michael Ferro’s battle against news giant Gannett’s aborted takeover bid. The pair are now the two top tronc stockholders, with Soon-Shiong controlling 16 percent and Ferro almost 25 percent. The U-T has insisted that its ideological slant is determined in San Diego, but the influential Soon-Shiong’s ambitions aren’t easily discounted, and some worry he could be using his purported sway over tronc’s newspapers as a selling point with fellow billionaire Trump.

A precedent for such influence came last March when tronc-owned papers, including the U-T, lined up as one to condemn the Obama administration for killing a tronc takeover deal for the Orange County Register and Riverside Press Enterprise on anti-trust grounds. “By consolidating back-end operations, we are able to save money in ways that don’t directly affect readers,” opined the Baltimore Sun. Added its sister, the Florida Sun-Sentinel: “Partnerships and the acquisition of regional newspapers are helping metro dailies stay in business and focus on what they do best: telling people what’s going on locally.” Tronc’s failed Orange County deal, pronounced the U-T, “might have meant higher journalism standards and consolidations that could have preserved more journalism jobs.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Warish Live from the Casbah, Warwick’s Author Livestream: Linda K. Olson

Events October 26-October 28, 2020
Next Article

We Got Beef on the waterfront

Local jerky maker spices up weekend bayside markets
Comments
2

Appreciate the effort, Matt, but as sometimes happens there is a lack of focus. A meandering column that hints at interesting information but fails to deliver any substance. Looking forward to the day when this links with additional information to give a sense of direction for the U-T, the owners or anyone of interest to Reader readers. Thanks for so many informative articles over the years.

Feb. 8, 2017

Since Papa Doug sold the UT it hasn't had any direction.

Feb. 9, 2017

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close