Los Angeles Times Publishes Dog Bite Investigation Patrick Soon-Shiong Interfered With

The billionaire owner’s editorial meddling led to the departure of executive editor Kevin Merida in January

LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong
L.A. Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong in 2016 (Credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images for NantHealth, Inc.)

The Los Angeles Times published a long-awaited investigative piece about a lawsuit relating to a dog bite and involving a friend of the newspaper’s owner Patrick Soon-Shiong.

The billionaire entrepreneur and owner interfered with the original report and demanded oversight of its publication, leading to the departure of executive editor Kevin Merida. 

The story details a contentious legal battle over billionaire surgical device inventor Gary Michelson’s dog allegedly biting another pet owner at Veterans’ Barrington Park in L.A. Michelson is a friend of Soon-Shiong, who took it upon himself to meddle with the story’s publication. 

Merida resigned on Jan. 9 and it was previously reported that this investigation was a final nail in the coffin of Soon-Shiong and Merida’s deteriorating relationship

Soon-Shiong learned of the Times story in December and sought to head off the reporting, at one point threatening to fire Merida if he wasn’t given oversight of the piece prior to its publication. 

However, even with Merida and many other top editors having departed the organization amid the fallout from significant layoffs, the story was published on Wednesday. 

The piece makes no mention of the reason for its delay or the contentious leadership battle at the newspaper that led to its publication. 

The L.A. Times has not responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.


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