OC Weekly has been put up for sale

ocweekly-shtup-cover.jpgVoice Media Group, the owner of 11 alternative papers across the country, including LA Weekly and OC Weekly, announced Tuesday that it intends to "explore new strategies for its publishing assets, including the sale or acquisition of alternative publications and other digital businesses." First on the market is OC Weekly, the Orange County paper where Gustavo Arellano is the editor. He writes in announcing the turn of events: "The headline up there kinda tells you the whole tale, right?…"

On my end, anyone interested in buying this rag gets a motivated band of mistfits, almost all of us OC natives loving to tell the best and worst of a land with 3 million souls. We've been comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable for nearly 20 years, and we plan to do so no matter who may be our eventual papi or mami.

Now comes the parlor game: what local mogul should buy us? Henry Samueli? Kobe Bryant? That youngster that created Oculus Rift? T. Jefferson Parker? PLEASE not Don Bren...HA!

The press release is below. We accept payment in pho, pesos, dollars and I THINK Bitcoin.

Voice Media Group gave no detailed explanation for its move. "This strategic planning is part of VMG's long-range vision to fine-tune its portfolio," says the release. "This process is likely to result in the diversification of more of its holdings, which include a fast-growing digital agency business and a national sales arm that serves 56 partner sites and publications with weekly print distribution of 3 million and 95 million page views per month.

"We continue to evaluate all of our properties while at the same time looking at new opportunities," said CEO Scott Tobias. "We will be making moves that fit our business plan and that set our business up for the most success today and in the future."

As for Orange County, Tobias said:

"We're confident this will represent an extremely attractive opportunity for the right buyer or strategic partner," said VMG chief executive officer Scott Tobias. "We've been proud to own the Weekly for the past eight years, and we know it will continue to punch above its weight in the future."

Since its founding in 1995, the scrappy Weekly has won dozens of journalism awards and established itself as the leading alternative voice in Orange County and Long Beach, serving more than 225,000 young, active readers with the region's hardest-hitting investigative reporting and cultural commentary. Its irreverent and intelligent coverage includes the syndicated "Ask a Mexican" column by editor Gustavo Arellano, as well as the popular news blog "Navel Gazing" and spirited music, food and arts reporting.

Voice Media Groups' other papers are the Village Voice in New York, LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Miami New Times, the Houston Press, Phoenix New Times, City Pages in Minneapolis, the Dallas Observer, the Riverfront Times in St. Louis and New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

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