Anchors Aweigh: OC Weekly Sold to Local Boating-Mag Publisher

So remember when I wrote almost a year to this week that this infernal rag was for sale? Welp, we finally found a local millionaire who we hadn’t insulted TOO much to buy us—and thank Allah it wasn’t Mike Harrah or Don Bren. Ladies and germs, welcome our new owner, Duncan McIntosh!

Never heard of him? Neither had we—at first, I thought a nice single malt had just bought the Weekly. A quick Google/Nexis-Lexis/ProQuest search shows he runs the Duncan McIntosh Company, which publishes a bunch of boating magazines and journalism journal Editor and Publisher. He also runs both the Newport Boat Show and Lido Yacht Expo…and now us.

Incongruous pairing? Maybe. But don’t forget that this paper’s original owner made his millions from selling pet food. And Señor McIntosh says he likes what we do and has promised to invest more money in us, but not at Aaron Kushner levels of insolvency—that’s a good start. And this represents the first time ever that the Weekly is owned by someone who actually lives in OC, which is pretty cool—no longer will we have to explain to a superior that you never call the 57 “State Route 57.”

Reporters interested in my further thoughts can quote my official statement here:

The below press release spells out the official verbiage by our former owners, Voice Media Group. On our end, us Weeklings welcome anyone who’ll let us continue our mission of DESMADRE. And if we can get an office on a speedboat just outside international waters, Duncan, we’d appreciate it—just sayin’!

Denver, February 4, 2016

Voice Media Group announced today it has sold OC Weekly, its award-winning publication in Costa Mesa, Calif., to Irvine-based publisher Duncan McIntosh.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Duncan McIntosh Co. publishes Boating World magazine, Sea magazine, and The Log Newspaper. Since 2010, it has also owned the 138-year-old iconic journalism trade publication Editor & Publisher.

VMG announced in January 2015 that it had retained merger and acquisition firm Dirks, Van Essen & Murray to explore new strategies for its portfolio of publishing assets, including the possible sale or acquisition of alternative publications or digital businesses.

Since then, VMG has sold the Village Voice of New York City, City Pages of Minneapolis, and the Riverfront Times of St. Louis as part of a plan to expand its successful digital agency business and focus resources on core editorial properties.

The sale of the Weekly caps that restructuring process, and VMG chief executive officer Scott Tobias said he was pleased to see McIntosh step forward as the buyer in Orange County.

“We’re happy to know that our great team at the Weekly will be in the hands of a well-established local publisher with significant assets and a commitment to continuing its tradition of excellence,” Tobias said.

During the 10 years VMG has owned the Weekly, the publication has been recognized nationally for its investigative reporting, including ground-breaking stories exposing misconduct at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

The Weekly is also known for its smart and irreverent coverage of local music, restaurants, arts and culture.

“Purchasing the OC Weekly brings us full-circle. We started with a weekly newspaper in Newport Beach, we’re very excited to be taking over a publishing icon in Orange County with such a great staff and a major presence online,” said company president, Duncan McIntosh. 

Following the sale of the Weekly, VMG will continue to own and operate V Digital Services, its digital agency, along with LA Weekly, Phoenix New Times, Denver’s Westword, Miami New Times, the Dallas Observer, the Houston Press, and New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

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