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Creative Loafing Buys Chicago Reader

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 25, 2007 12:15PM

2007_07_readerlogo.jpgThe Tribune isn't the only paper to have a new owner, although that sale is still up in the air (fifth item). Yesterday the Tampa-based media company Creative Loafing purchased the Washington, DC alternative Washington City Paper and the Reader, which the City Paper also owns.

So what does this mean for the future of the Old Gray Doorstop? Not much, at least immediately. Michael Miner blogs that Creative Loafing does have a reputation for not meddling too much in the local operations of its assets (i.e. the stories on police brutality and the sleight-of-hand involving Mayor Daley's tax increment financing districts in which they consistently lap the dailies on coverage), but they do plan on moving the Reader's ad and page designs and some other production functions to Atlanta. They may also move printing of the paper to Fayetteville, N.C. Otherwise, Creative Loafing CEO Ben Eason told Crain's Chicago Business that they're "spending a couple weeks trying to get an idea of what everybody does" while "preserv(ing) all that makes (the Reader) great. Reader publisher Michael Crystal and editor Alison True will remain, which should smooth the transition to new ownership. Another thing that Creative Loafing will be preserving is Cecil Adams' "Straight Dope" column, its website, and its lucrative syndication deals.

You can read the official press releases from the Reader and Creative Loafing regarding the sale here and here.