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Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Soon-Shiong’

Eli Broad Confirms His Interest in LA Times

Austin Beutner was front and center in LA Weekly‘s recent look at potential LA Times bidders. Tonight, he is connected once again to billionaire Eli Broad and the non-profit vision previously outlined by Hillel Aron.

The big difference is that Broad is now making it official. From The Hollywood Reporter item by west coast business editor Paul Bond:

“Mr. Broad has always believed in local ownership of the Times and would be interested in joining with others to buy the paper,” Broad spokeswoman Karen Denne tells THR.

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Five Takeaways from LA Weekly’s Fabulous LA Times Feature

Timing is everything. Just a few days before this week’s LA Weekly article “Who Will Buy the LA Times?” by Hillel Aron, CNBC broke the news that JPMorgan and Evercore will be handling the sale of the paper and other Tribune Co. assets.

That context gives the piece some extra urgency, and from this excellent bit of work by Aron, we were most struck by the following:

Richest Man in LA vs. Richest Man in the World: Aron references Patrick Soon-Shiong (pictured) in connection with former mayoral candidate Austin Beutner’s effort to put together a stealth group of combined LAT buyers. Surprisingly (at least to us), nowhere in the article does Carlos Slim come up, the man responsible for the relaunch of Larry King and much more. Aron confirms to FishbowlLA that it was not a case of being edited out; “no one ever mentioned Slim,” the writer says.

Two Shades of WSJ: The article characterizes Rupert Murdoch as the man who could potentially outbid everyone, with media expert Ken Doctor telling Aron the Wall Street Journal owner remains the odds-on favorite to acquire the newspaper. Doctor also thinks the two publications’ editorial and ad operations could be streamlined in a number of intriguing ways.

Which is perhaps ironic, because Aron also reminds that Times publisher and Tribune Co. CEO Eddie Hartenstein took a lot of flack internally for his decision to allow the Journal to print at the LAT, bumping the paper’s daily schedule down and “ruining its time-zone advantage over east coast papers.”

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U-T San Diego Sports Columnist Sets T.J. Simers Straight

Nick Canepa (pictured) has been with U-T San Diego and the paper’s previous incarnation since 1977 and on board as a full-time sportswriter since the 1984 LA Summer Olympics. In other words, this guy knows how to fashion a solid lede:

A certain Los Angeles Times columnist who shall remain nameless (T.J. Simers) has written he has a hunch the Chargers will be in LA by March. That T.J., what a cutup. He’s a master at getting you to pull his finger. In this case, though, he may be right — if all the Chargers attend a Lakers game.

Ha ha. The above first paragraph frames Canepa’s evaluation of what AEG’s impending sale might mean for the prospects of an NFL team returning to Los Angeles. A Chargers rep laughs off Simer’s intuitive abilities, while Canepa quickly expands the scope of his derision to the City of Angles.

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Magic Johnson’s Group Buys Dodgers for $2 Billion

Do you believe in Magic?

Magic Johnson‘s bidding group reached a deal to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodger Stadium from Frank McCourt for a whopping $2 billion — the highest amount ever paid for a sports franchise. Bankruptcy judge Kevin Gross is expected to approve of the deal on April 13, a little over two weeks before McCourt must pay his ex-wife Jamie $131 million as part of their divorce settlement.

Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC are the official owners, which include Johnson, Mark R. WalterPeter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly. The controlling owner is Walter, chief executive officer of the financial services company. Kasten, the former president of the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves, is expected to run the day-to-day operations.

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Three Groups Left in Dodgers Bidding

And then there were three.

Another round of cuts were made in the Los Angeles Dodgers bidding process and we could have a winner as soon as next week, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

The three finalists include a group led by hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen and Los Angeles billionaire and philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong; a group led by Magic Johnson and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten; and St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

The cut was confirmed by two people familiar with the sale process but not authorized to comment.

Major League Baseball owners are expected to vote on the three remaining bidders early next week. Final negotiations then would take place with Frank McCourt and Blackstone Advisory Partners, the investment bank brokering the sale.

LA’s Richest Man Funds Alternate Reality Studio

Biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong continues to have fun with his sideline investment activities. On the heels of last year’s purchase of Magic Johnson‘s stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, the season ticket holder is now banking an initial $15 million on Fourth Wall Studios, a purveyor of “alternate reality entertainment.”

Dean Takahashi of San Francisco based Venture Beat has the scoop. The money will be used to build a new LA studio dedicated to the creation of titles that seamlessly blend together digital elements with those of the real world.

Fourth Wall focuses on “transmedia” stories, which can stretch across a variety of devices, such as the PC, cell phones, or the real world via augmented reality. One of the best examples of Fourth Wall’s work was the artistic radio drama that it hid within the Halo 3: ODST console video game.

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