Just in time to miss what would have been the world’s most awkward company Christmas party, Village Voice Media announced today its sale of the SF Weekly to the boringly-named San Francisco Newspaper Company. The company, led by Todd Vogt, also owns the Examiner—which I guess is still a paper?—and more importantly, the competing Bay Guardian.
The sale creates strange bedfellows indeed. The Bay Guardian, sold by Bruce “Read My Paper, Dammit” Brugmann to Vogt last year, played the role of Riff to the SF Weekly‘s Bernardo in a much-publicized altweekly turf lawsuit that ended in a $15.9 million settlement to the Guardian. Basically, the SF Weekly and the Guardian hate each other’s pulp. Now they’re both owned by Pappa Vogt. How’s this going to play out?
The Voice also sold Seattle Weekly, because duh, The Stranger.
Press Release, Come On Down:
Voice Media Group today announces the sale of SF Weekly and Seattle Weekly. Specifically, SF Weekly LP has closed on the sale of SF Weekly to the San Francisco Newspaper Company, which is the publisher of The San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
The deal, effective immediately, means that the San Francisco Newspaper Company (“SFNP”) will assume operations for the paper beginning today. The sale of SF Weekly will allow Voice Media Group to focus on growth opportunities for mobile and online platforms and to develop core digital offerings in its other key markets.
“This is a strategic decision aligned with the long-term business goals of VMG,” said Scott Tobias, CEO of Voice Media Group. “Todd Vogt is known for his expertise in the local paper space and he is a great choice to take ownership of SF Weekly.”
Todd Vogt, President and Co-Owner of SFNP, added, “This is an exciting day for our company as we add a title that is recognized as one of the leading alternative weekly newspapers in the country. Village Voice Media Holdings built a great company of excellent newspapers. SF Weekly expands our commitment to deliver the very best local media coverage in San Francisco.”
Best of luck to all our friends at the SF Weekly, who no doubt are very nervous right now. Don’t worry, guys—Tim Redmond’s “JDLR” speech is actually kind of endearing the first 28 times you hear it.