The San Diego Union-Tribune is sold to MediaNews Group for an undisclosed amount. MediaNews Group is owned by Alden Global Capital, which owns approximately 200 publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. Its Southern California News Group papers include the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Daily News. The Union-Tribune was previously owned by Patrick Soon-Shiong, who bought it from Tribune Publishing in 2018. In keeping with Alden’s reputation for slashing costs at its papers, Sharon Ryan, executive VP of California for MediaNews Group said in an email to employees that cutbacks will be necessary to “offset the slowdown in revenues as economic headwinds continue to impact the media industry.”
The New York Times is making “an evolution in how we cover sports” by closing down its sports department and moving its coverage of teams and games over to The Athletic, the sports platform it purchased for $550 million last year. According to Times executive editor Joe Kahn and deputy managing editor Monica Drake, there no plans to eliminate any staff positions as part of the change. The shift promises to alter the tone of the paper’s sports coverage. “We plan to focus even more directly on distinctive, high-impact news and enterprise journalism about how sports intersect with money, power, culture, politics and society at large,” the editors wrote in an email to the Times newsroom. “At the same time, we will scale back the newsroom’s coverage of games, players, teams and leagues.” While The Athletic has been gaining in readership—hitting three million in March—it still does not report an operating profit, losing $7.8 million in the first quarter of this year.
Microsoft’s bid to acquire to acquire video game publisher Activision Blizzard for $69 billion now has one less hurdle in its way. The Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to delay the deal, which argued that the acquisition would stifle competition, got a thumbs-down from Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on July 11. Following that decision, Britain's antitrust regulator said it was open to Microsoft changing its acquisition of Activision Blizzard to address its concerns that blocked the deal in the UK in April. The merger could now go through in the US as early as this month.