Thursday, February 2, 2023

Virginian-Pilot sold to Chicago-based owner of Newport News’ Daily Press

After 153 years of reporting the news in Norfolk and Hampton Roads, The Virginian-Pilot will now do so under the ownership of Chicago-based Tronc, Inc. (or tronc as the company seems to prefer) – which stands for Tribune Online Content.

Tronc bought Virginian-Pilot Media Companies, LLC, which includes the Virginian-Pilot,, and Pilot Targeted Media, from Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC.

According to a news release from Tronc, the $34 million purchase price includes the Pilot and all of its “niche publications and companion websites.”

The sale (effectively immediately but pending all customary approvals) comprises the Pilot’s real estate holdings, consisting of some 460,000 square feet of property including the downtown Norfolk headquarters, printing and distribution facilities in Virginia Beach, and satellite offices in Norfolk and North Carolina.

Calls Tuesday morning by Southside Daily to the Virginian-Pilot were not immediately returned.

In addition to the Chicago Tribune, Tronc also owns the Daily Press in Newport News, New York Daily News and The Baltimore Sun, as well as the nation’s 4th largest newspaper, the currently troubled Los Angeles Times.

“From its founding in 1865, The Virginian-Pilot has a long history of commitment to journalism. We are thrilled to welcome The Virginian-Pilot to the tronc portfolio,” said Justin Dearborn, Tronc chairman and CEO.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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