The Long Beach Post Has A New Owner, And A New Mission

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Attention politicians, the Long Beach Post is on a mission to uncover your misdeeds. (Screenshot of Long Beach Post home page taken June 19, 2018)

The local news scene in Los Angeles is on fire this week.

LAist returned to life, half a year after it was unceremoniously shut down by its previous owner.

The L.A. Times is back under local control after billionaire health care entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong closed his deal to buy the paper (and the San Diego Union Tribune).

And a slightly smaller local rag, the Long Beach Post, has a new owner and a renewed focus on hard-hitting, hyperlocal coverage.

A handful of veteran journalists who quit the city's oldest paper, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, have joined the upstart publication. Columnist Tim Grobaty is one of them. He left the Long Beach Press-Telegram after 42 years to work at the Post.

"The mission is to cover Long Beach," he told KPCC's Take Two. "It's my city and it's been ignored too much."

Grobaty isn't the only one who feels that way. Investment group Pacific6, backed by former Molina Healthcare CEO John Molina, bought the Long Beach Post, and Grobaty said it's Molina who's pushing the local focus.

With nearly 500,000 residents, Long Beach is the seventh most populous city in California — and Grobaty said it needs its own paper.

Long Beach "has that whole 'shadow of L.A.' thing going for it. It needs to be paid attention to. Too much stuff has slipped through the cracks over the years because we didn't have the resources to cover it," he said. "We are getting there now."

Reporters will cover local politics, Long Beach's City Council, sports, food and decaying tourist attraction The Queen Mary, which Grobaty says is soaking up a ton of money in repairs.

"We are all very excited," Grobaty said. "It's the biggest news organization I've worked for since the Press-Telegram started dwindling. We have about 15 people and more are coming."


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