LA Times Discloses It Received $10-Million PPP Loan

Paper says funds will help with “payroll and other employee-related costs” caused by pandemic ad losses

Courtesy of L.A. Times

The Los Angeles Times disclosed Tuesday that it has received a $10-million PPP loan, which it said “will help cover payroll and other employee-related costs amid a dramatic plunge in advertising revenue.”

The paper’s finances were “already strained following an unprecedented rebuilding effort and hiring spree that began in 2018 after billionaire biotech entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michele, purchased The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune for $500 million from Chicago-based Tribune Publishing.” The pandemic caused “tens of millions of dollars in losses” for LA Times parent company California Times.

As a result, California Times had “applied for the maximum amount available to it,” the paper reported.

California Times President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Argentieri said in a statement that the PPP loan “will be used almost exclusively for employee-related costs, including payroll and employee benefits.

The disclosure comes during a time of transition for the paper, which is still seeking to hire a new Executive Editor to replace Norman Pearlstine, who stepped down in December. It also follows a Wall Street Journal report last month that Soon-Shiong is exploring a sale of the Los Angeles Times.

Soon-Shiong however strongly denied the report, and a spokeswoman for the Times told TheWrap at the time that he did not have plans to sell the paper. And earlier this month in a note to staff, he reaffirmed his family’s commitment to the “future” of the Times and the Union-Tribune.

“Despite disappointing media reports to the contrary, our commitment has not wavered: We are planning for the future of the California Times and look forward to gathering, safely, again in person,” Soon-Shiong wrote. “My family and I thank you for the dedication you’ve shown to keeping our communities informed and engaged during this historic year. The L.A. Times and San Diego Union-Tribune have been sources of vital information, difficult truths and needed inspiration for the readers who rely on us every day.”

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