Wrapports LLC, the Chicago Sun-Times' parent company, may buy the Chicago Reader soon
, Lynne Marek reported Wednesday in Crain's Chicago Business. That would be a seismic change for a newspaper that's always operated in opposition to the city's big dailies, doing vital reporting on Chicago
as well as covering the stuffing out of its arts and music scenes. (The Reader also owns the Straight Dope message board
, which has a large and loyal community.)
One of the draws, according to Marek's story, is the Reader's arts and entertainment listings; another is its advertising relationships with A&E businesses. "Music and entertainment is pretty sticky content online," marketing consultant Mark Roth told Crain's.
There aren't many examples of companies owning dailies and alts in the same town. Times-Shamrock Communications owns alt-weeklies in Baltimore, Orlando, San Antonio and Detroit, but only in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pa., does it own weeklies that compete with its dailies. Both of those weeklies, electric city
(I immediately thought of the rap video from The Office
, too) and diamond city, are A&E-focused.
The Columbus Dispatch's parent company has owned Columbus Alive, another entertainment-focused alt, since 2006; in 2011 it bought The Other Paper
, which covers politics, news and A&E.
And the San Francisco Examiner bought the San Francisco Bay Guardian in April
, pledging not to futz with the editorial voice of the scrappy paper, which covers politics and news as well as A&E. "We have no intention of changing the editorial voice of the Guardian. If anything, a refreshed progressive voice is needed in the city," Examiner president Todd Vogt told the San Francisco Chronicle. (more...)