Long Beach millionaire John Molina’s new company, Pacific 6, will finance a Long Beach publication dedicated to local news that will directly compete with the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and employ the Press-Telegram’s three recently departed editorial employees.
David Sommers, a spokesman for Pacific 6 who is slated for a leadership role at the new venture, told the Business Journal May 25 that details on the publication would come soon.
The development could dramatically alter the media landscape of Long Beach, which has more than 470,000 people, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures.
“The mission of this is to cover the 2nd largest city in Los Angeles County in a way that Long Beach hasn’t seen in years,” Sommers said.
Three Long Beach Press-Telegram employees – City Editor Melissa Evans, Crime and Safety Reporter Jeremiah Dobruck, and Tim Grobaty, a Press-Telegram columnist – exited the paper earlier this week.
Evans said in an interview that the plan was for all three of them to join a publication to compete with the Press-Telegram.
The three reporters’ departures left the Press-Telegram with one staff reporter, Chris Haire, and a group of freelancers and reporters shared with other publications owned by Southern California News Group, a subsidiary of Denver-based Digital First Media.
The Southern California News Group covers Long Beach news daily in the Press-Telegram, as well as weekly in its community newspaper, the Grunion Gazette.
"The Press Telegram will continue to document the living history and unique story of Long Beach each day, as will the Grunion Gazette every Thursday," SCNG spokesman Eric Morgan said. "Both have been fixtures in Long Beach for many decades. It'd be great to see all local news sources - established and new - succeed and thrive."
Molina’s Pacific 6 is comprised of six investors with $100 million in total capital, according to the company website.
The son of Molina Heathcare founder David Molina, John Molina was the company’s chief financial officer for 16 years until he was fired in March 2017. John Molina briefly stayed on the company board, but stepped down in February.
In addition to the journalism venture, Pacific 6 has also bought The Breakers hotel in downtown Long Beach.
Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323)556-8332 or firstname.lastname@example.org