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Sun-Times Parent Company To Buy Chicago Reader

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 9, 2012 9:00PM

2012_5_9_reader.jpg Crain's Chicago Business is reporting that a deal is close to complete that would allow the parent company for the Chicago Sun-Times to buy the Chicago Reader.

Once the I's are dotted and the t's are crossed, Wrapports LLC would buy the onetime Old Gray Doorstop for $3 million from Atalaya Capital Management, the New York investment firm that acquired the Reader, Washington City Paper and three other papers in 2009 after parent company Creative Loafing fell into bankruptcy. (Creative Loafing, by the way, took out a $30 million loan to buy those papers in 2007.)

News of Wrapports' interest in the Reader has been around for weeks. Crain's couldn't reach Wrapports CEO Tim Knight for comment. Reader publisher Alison Draper wouldn't comment, as the deal wasn't finalized. But the Reader's Twitter stream announced Crain's reporting of the news was legitimate.

The Reader is also having a bit of fun with the news, putting the purchase price into perspective. For example: some Super Bowl ads this year ran as high as $4 million. Friend of Chicagoist Seth Lavin did a search of Chicago area homes that are on the market or more than the price of the Sun-Times/Reader deal. Lavin also noted the city has paid out $20 million to settle lawsuits related to the torture practices of former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge, a story the Reader broke and owned like few other stories.