LA Weekly Is For Sale
On Wednesday morning, Voice Media Group announced that a certain storied alternative weekly in the nation's second-largest market was being put up for sale. The publication in question was LA Weekly, which has been an essential part of the city's fabric since it was founded in 1978.
The Voice Media Group owns a number of publications across the country, including Phoenix New Times, Houston Press, Dallas Observer, Miami New Times, and Broward New Times. VMG was formed in 2012 when a group of media execs bought out then-parent group Village Voice Media Holdings to acquire ownership of a group of publications that, at the time, also included The Village Voice, Seattle Weekly, and SF Weekly, among others. VMG sold off SF Weekly and Seattle Weekly the following year, and the Village Voice, their flagship title, was sold in 2015.
Selling LA Weekly is "part of the ongoing diversification" of VMG's portfolio, according to a press release from the company. LA Weekly has won more awards than any other paper in the country from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, and in 2007 they became the first newspaper to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for restaurant criticism, thanks to the work of Jonathan Gold.
Sara April, a vice-president at Dirks, Van Essen & Murray—the newspaper mergers and acquisitions group hired by VMG in 2015—told LAist that the sale was part of the company's longterm diversification plan. April also said that they did not yet have a set timeline, but that the process typically takes about six months.
We asked April if she had any dream buyers in mind (perhaps a civically-minded patron? Paging Eli Broad...), but she declined to speculate, saying "I'm sure that we'll get inquiries from all types of buyers."
And how much does it cost to acquire an iconic alt-weekly these days? "We won't be discussing anything like that," she said.