More staff shake-ups hit Tronc

The shake-up continues at Tronc.

Colman Andrews, one of the best-known food journalists in the country, is out as editorial director of The Daily Meal, an online foodie site that Tronc bought last June when it was still trying to expand its national verticals.

Within three months of the purchase, Jim Spanfeller, the site’s founder, who stayed involved as Tronc’s SVP of development, was gone.

The ouster of Andrews — a founder of Saveur in its glory days — raises questions of just how solid Tronc’s digital initiatives really are.

A Tronc spokesperson had not returned calls by press time.

The digital side of the publisher has been in turmoil since dozens were laid off and Lewis D’Vorkin exited in April after only three months as the chief content officer of Tribune Interactive.

Meanwhile, three months after Tronc announced that bio-tech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong agreed to buy the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union ­Tribune for $500 million, the deal has not closed — and Tronc has not received a check.

And McCormick Media, despite filing a 13D saying it had voting control of former chairman Michael Ferro’s 25.7 percent stock holdings — making it Tronc’s largest shareholder — has not closed that deal either, the company said.

In a subsequent SEC filing on April 23, McCormick Media said it was in talks with a “significant” shareholder about a cooperative venture — but did not reveal the identity of the other shareholder or exactly what was being discussed.

But observers note that if Soon-Shiong and McCormick teamed up, they’d control more than 50 percent of the common stock.

And tellingly, sources revealed to Media Ink that Sargent McCormick-Collier and Soon-Shiong have indeed spoken in recent days.

Source: Read Full Article