SouthComm, Inc. has announced its purchase of Washington City Paper and Creative Loafing Atlanta.
With the transaction, the Nashville-based company now owns eight AAN-member publications, and the New York-based investment firm Atalaya Capital Management exits the alt-weekly business, having sold the last of the papers it acquired as a result of the Creative Loafing bankruptcy.
“I have told many people that there are undoubtedly easier ways to make a living than running alt-weeklies,” said SouthComm CEO Chris Ferrell in a letter to the staff of both papers. “But the truth is that I love these papers and what they mean to the cities in which they publish. You have the opportunity to shape the public discourse in your cities for the better.”
Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon reports:
“These are very good papers that have had a rough couple of years with all the transition theyâ€™ve been through,” Ferrell said. “I hope we can provide some stability and help them rebuild their page counts.”
City Paper Publisher Amy Austin said Ferrell has “obviously got a love for alternative media and journalism, so I’m happy about that.” Some of the functions Creative Loafing offshored when it bought City Paper and Chicago Reader in 2007 will return to the papers; ad production and some marketing will now be done in-house at City Paper and some of Atlanta’s Creative Services staff will move to the Atlanta paper, Ferrell said.
Creative Loafing Atlanta editor Eric Celeste writes:
In a press release – as well as a lunch conversation that I’m not saying happened last week but probably did – SouthComm CEO Chris Ferrell said he expected no immediate editorial changes at the papers. Ferrell said he will examine each market to decide whether to introduce new print and digital products to complement the publications.
Creative Loafing Charlotte: “After all is said and done, we’re family once again.”