Monday, October 10, 2011

Creative Loafing has been sold, but not down the river

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Perhaps you're addicted to your Twitter or Facebook feeds and you've heard that Creative Loafing has been sold. It's true, my friends. But it's good news, not bad.

As of about three hours ago, CL Charlotte was acquired by SouthComm, Inc. — the parent company of three other award-winning alternative weeklies, the Nashville Scene, Kansas City Pitch and Louisville’s LEO Weekly.

What this means for readers and users of CL Charlotte — as well as the Tampa-based edition — is that we will no longer be part of the Atlanta flagship Creative Loafing or its more recent acquisitions, Washington City Paper and Chicago Reader.

Recall that in 2008 the original owners of Creative Loafing Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The following year, Creative Loafing Inc., which had been owned by the same family since 1972, was sold to its largest creditor, Atalaya Capital Management. Atalaya has controlled CL since that time.

What this recent acquisition means to us is that a real media company will again own the Charlotte Creative Loafing. What it means to you is that you can continue counting on CL to bring you the best, edgiest and most usable news in the Charlotte area.

SouthComm’s other properties indicate that the company is interested in quality community journalism. The company’s owner and CEO, Chris Ferrell, began acquiring a series of community-based publications after serving as publisher of the Nashville Scene from 2005 to 2007. As a Nashville city councilman, he was an advocate for issues including the city’s affordable housing initiative and anti-discrimination ordinance. SouthComm bought CL Charlotte, Ferrell said in an interview earlier today, for its trusted name in community-interest journalism and arts and entertainment coverage.

Creative Loafing is well read and well loved in Charlotte, and I’m excited to be part of building on that legacy,” Ferrell said. “CL readers can continue to look forward to the best coverage of culture, music, and entertainment, as well as the investigative journalism that readers have come to expect over the years.”

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