Michael Ferro has entirely sold off his 25.5 percent stake of tronc Inc. four weeks after he stepped down as board chairman of the Chicago-based media company, which for now owns the Los Angeles Times.
Ferro sold his shares valued at $208 million to McCormick Media LLC, a Chicago-based entity linked to the McCormick family, former owners of the Chicago Tribune. Tronc is the current owner of the Tribune.
The sale was disclosed in an April 13 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Ferro’s 25.5 percent stake, held under the monikers Merrick Media LLC and Merrick Venture Management LLC, was the largest of any tronc shareholder, even after he sold company shares amid his resignation.
Ferro’s resignation March 19 came hours before Fortune reported that two women accused him of sexual misconduct. A spokesman for Ferrro responded to the charges by noting that Ferro retired to private life.
Ferro’s massive sale of stock adds intrigue to an already busy 24 hours for tronc’s Los Angeles holdings.
Tribune Media Interactive, a tronc spinoff that formed in February, dismissed several audio and video staff members, according to an April 12 Los Angeles Times report. The layoffs raise questions about tronc’s continued Los Angeles presence.
Also, Patrick Soon-Shiong, who purchased the Los Angeles Times from tronc in February – in a deal that Ferro engineered – told Times’ staff that the newspaper will move from downtown Los Angeles to an unspecified location in El Segundo.
Soon-Shiong has not finalized his purchase of the Los Angeles Times from tronc. A spokeswoman for Soon-Shiong has not returned messages about when the deal might close, or if the Times’ new owner knows the publication’s new headquarters.
Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323) 556-8332 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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