There is a lot of talk about who owns L.A. Weekly. We’ve seen all the speculation. Is it a Russian oligarch? Is it some Trumpista? Is it Lord Voldemort?
Rumors are rampant and the assumption is that someone bought the Weekly for some nefarious reason. But that’s not the case.
Our new ownership team is a patchwork of people who care about Los Angeles, care about the community and want to once again see an incredibly relevant, thriving L.A. Weekly with edge and grit that becomes the cultural center of the city.
The L.A. Weekly group is made up of several investors including Brian Calle, formerly of the Southern California News Group; David Welch, an L.A.-based attorney; Kevin Xu, a philanthropist and investor; Steve Mehr, an attorney and investor; Paul Makarechian, a boutique hotel developer; Mike Mugel, a real estate redeveloper; and Andy Bequer, a Southern California–based investor. And Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Berkeley’s law school, also plans to invest.
We appreciate that people have been expressing their support for L.A. Weekly over the last couple of days. It was once a richly influential and important cultural force in Los Angeles, which gave it vitality both as a journalism platform and as a business. I’m sure many reading can remember a time when we used to pick up an issue every week, read its features and refer to it multiple times to help decide weekly social and cultural activities.
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As media marched forward into the digital age, however, print publications saw innumerable challenges and L.A. Weekly has suffered as a result. It wasn’t inevitable. And today, perhaps more than ever, we need media organizations, like L.A. Weekly, to become reinvigorated journalistic voices in the new media landscape. It’s disheartening that the Weekly has been on a declining trajectory. Our goal is to turn it around and see it grow.
I believe in the potential of L.A. Weekly to bring the powerful Los Angeles perspective to a new, broader audience. I am committed to keeping the Weekly alive as we transform from a newspaper with a website into a truly digital media outlet — which also happens to have a very cool print component.
I am eager to move forward on that journey with our amazing existing staff members, who are excited to join us on that ride.
We have a lot of work ahead and look forward to sharing our progress — and our challenges — as we fight to keep this outstanding publication relevant, edgy, fascinating and essential not just for the next 50 years but beyond.