SouthComm Acquires Creative Loafing Charlotte and Tampa

CL, Inc. has sold Creative Loafing Charlotte and Creative Loafing Tampa to Nashville-based SouthComm, Inc.

The company also announced the resignation of CEO Marty Petty.

SouthComm, which earlier this year purchased The Pitch of Kansas City from Village Voice Media, has rapidly assembled a portfolio of alt-weekly publications over the past two years. The company also owns Nashville Scene (purchased from VVM in 2009) and LEO Weekly in Louisville, Ky.

In a press release, CL, Inc. said that the sale of its Charlotte and Tampa publications “now positions CL, Inc. to focus on brand value, audience and revenue growth for its flagship publications: Chicago Reader, Creative Loafing Atlanta and Washington City Paper.”

SouthComm’s expertise in operating mid-market alternative weekly publications in the southeast makes them a strong and strategic owner of the Tampa and Charlotte markets.

In conjunction with the sale of Tampa, Marty Petty has resigned as CEO effective today. We thank Marty for her hard work, passion and commitment to Creative Loafing over the last two years. Alison Draper has been named VP/Group Publisher and will remain Publisher of the Chicago Reader. Tammy Bailey remains as VP/CFO. Alison, Tammy, and the Board will work in partnership to lead the company going forward. Alison and Tammy will report directly to the board. Washington City Paper Publisher, Amy Austin, and Creative Loafing Atlanta Publisher, Sharry Smith, will report to Alison regarding strategic planning, revenue performance and marketing initiatives and to Tammy for operational and financial matters including expenses, cash management, contract negotiations, IT, and human resources.

In the simultaneously-distributed SouthComm press release, CEO Chris Ferrell said, “Creative Loafing is a very strong brand and these two papers are well read and well run. We look forward to having them as part of the SouthComm family of publications. We are excited to grow in Charlotte and Tampa, which are very good cities for us to build out our model of having multiple niche publications in each market.”

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