If completed, tronc would own and operate the Sun-Times as a separate unit, keeping in place the independent newsroom. But the weakened state of the industry, and the coming of the more free market Trump administration, would likely make likely approval of a merger of two business whose revenues and paid circulation are declining. As part of that process, the Sun-Times will take out a full-page ad in Tuesday's edition seeking potential buyers, who would have 15 days to respond.
Tronc, owner of the Chicago Tribune, is trying to buy its tabloid rival, the Chicago Sun-Times, and has signed a 15-day non-binding letter to acquire the tabloid's parent company, Wrapports Holdings. "We believe an ownership that can bring substantial digital resources is necessary and is the best path for the Sun-Times long term." said John Canning, Chairman of Wrapports, LLC.
Layson said he thinks this deal comes as no surprise. He left to work for the Newhouse chain in OH, then has returned to the Ferro fold at Tronc. The investors and board members of Wrapports have been committed to keeping a second media voice in Chicago alive and thriving. The Sun-Times is "seeking new ownership that will commit to preserving the Sun-Times as an independent news source", says the paper. Discussions about a further combination of the businesses continued over the next few years, resulting in the Chicago Tribune Media Group's 2014 purchase of the Sun-Times' suburban titles."If we successfully close, we will be pleased to have the Chicago Sun-Times join our existing family of strong brands and help it maintain its independent voice", said tronc CEO and director Justin Dearborn".
Ferro had controlled Wrapports until February 2016 when he suddenly emerged as the largest single shareholder of Tronc, which at the time was known as Tribune Publishing.
"It's an inevitable transaction", O'Shea said.
Now, the reverse would happen, though a key player in the original strategizing, Ferro, will still wind up a king of the hill, though now as head of Tronc.
Chicago has always been a two newspaper town.