Creative Loafing (Sarasota) has been sold to the Herald-Tribune Media Group, which will shut down print operations this week and lay off six employees.
Herald-Tribune — which publishes an eponymous daily in Sarasota — will incorporate its newly acquired Creative Loafing Sarasota brand into its local entertainment guide and plans to launch a new mobile app with the Creative Loafing name.
“Sarasota is a very small operation, and we decided to focus our energy on our larger outlets,” said Henry Scott, outgoing publisher of Creative Loafing’s Atlanta newspaper, noting that the chain’s other weekly newspapers are in larger markets: Chicago, Washington D.C., Charlotte, N.C. and Tampa. “It’s less a matter of saving money and more a matter of focus.”
The move may also signal a change in orientation for Creative Loafing from the Tampa-centric attitude of former CEO and founding family member Ben Eason.
The Chicago Reader‘s Michael Miner writes, “the demise of this paper is less surprising than the odd sort of afterlife it will enjoy.”