Will latest U-T deal replace reporters with robots?

More twisting in the wind seems ahead for the besieged staff of the Union-Tribune as yet another Los Angeles billionaire joins the cast of characters on the big-money merry-go-round otherwise known as Chicago’s Tribune Publishing. As reported here last September, Patrick Soon-Shiong — called the wealthiest person in Los Angeles by the L.A. Business Journal, and part owner of the Lakers — has long been rumored to have his eye on the Tribune-owned L.A. Times, and sister Union-Tribune, which survives only through an umbilical cord to the Times printing plant in Los Angeles. Among his other superlatives, Soon-Shiong, with an estimated net worth of $11.8 billion, has also been labeled “the world’s richest doctor,” according to Forbes. Now he’s getting into the newspaper business with Michael Ferro, the controversial master…


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