The Los Angeles Times has acknowledged receiving a $10 million loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, money the newspaper says will help cover payroll and other employee-related costs amid a dramatic plunge in advertising revenue.
The news organization on Tuesday reported on the loan on its own pages.
The story says the organization was “dealt a significant financial blow last March, when businesses abruptly pulled their advertising spending amid government-mandated shutdowns intended to slow the coronavirus spread.”
The company, called California Times, acknowledged the pandemic-related problems were compounded by already strained finances, the result of an unprecedented rebuilding effort and hiring spree that began in 2018 after biotech entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michele, purchased The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune for $500 million from Chicago-based Tribune Publishing.
The company has suffered tens of millions of dollars in losses, and hasn’t recovered financially, says President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Argentieri.
In April 2020, Just the News reported that news outlets received tens-of-millions in federal stimulus money as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that then-President Trump signed into law, among them such venerable newspapers as The Seattle Times and Tampa Bay Times.
The money came through forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans under the CARES Act that Congress passed last month.
The loan to the Los Angeles Times is the first federal loan during the COVID-19 pandemic because the news outlet did not qualify for the PPP program last year.