A scion of the fortune built from Long Beach-based Molina Healthcare Inc. is behind a publication dedicated to local news that will directly compete with the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Financing for the new journalistic venture, as yet unnamed, is expected to come through Pacific 6 Enterprises, an investment firm that counts John Molina as a co-founder and partner.
David Sommers, a spokesman for Pacific 6 who is slated for a leadership role at the new venture, recently told the Business Journal that more details on the publication would be made public soon.
The development holds the potential to alter the media landscape of Long Beach, which has a population of about 470,000 people, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures.
The effort has so far led to the hire of three longtime members of the Press-Telegram’s newsroom – City Editor Melissa Evans; Crime and Safety Reporter Jeremiah Dobruck; and Tim Grobaty, a columnist who left the daily two weeks ago.
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 operated by Southern California News Group, a unit of Denver-based Digital First Media. The organization has indicated it plans new hires to replace the departed staffers.
“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,” said Southern California News Group spokesman Eric Morgan. “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.
John Molina is a son of Molina Heathcare founder David Molina. The younger Molina was the company’s chief financial officer for 16 years until he was fired in March 2017. He stepped down from the company’s board in February.
Pacific 6 has also bought The Breakers hotel in downtown Long Beach.
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