Publicola at Seattle Met

Photo courtesy Josh Feit.

Seattle—PubliCola is back.

PubliCola, the online news, politics, and civic affairs site, will resume operation later this month, Cola founder and editor Josh Feit announced today.

SagaCity Media, owner of award-winning Seattle Met, Portland Monthly, OutCity, and 24 other custom and editorial titles, has purchased the acclaimed local news site and will relaunch PubliCola. As a result of the ownership change, the site will be rechristened PubliCola@SeattleMet.

PubliCola co-owner Feit and PubliCola editor and co-owner Erica C. Barnett will continue to report, write, and head up PubliCola.com, the scrappy blog that’s widely read in the cubicles of power in Olympia, Seattle, and DC. In addition, every month both will work with Seattle Met editor in chief Katherine Koberg to contribute news and feature stories to the magazine and website.

“As a fan of PubliCola’s smart political coverage since its beginnings in 2009, I’m thrilled to welcome Josh and Erica into the Seattle Met family. Their commitment to original reporting and healthy civic debate will deepen our understanding of how the city works and uphold Seattle Met’s promise to be an indispensable source of news, culture, and lifestyle coverage for the city both online and offline,” says Koberg.

After a three-and-a-half year run, during which PubliCola built a devoted following on a shoestring budget, the site closed its doors in May, explaining that it didn’t have the infrastructure to continue.

Seattle Met, which already provides cutting-edge lifestyle and cultural coverage as to Seattle’s urbanites, has been seeking to add more local politics coverage to its mix. The purchase of PubliCola, with its daily reporting and insider scoops, provides the perfect opportunity to build Seattle Met’s profile as a political must-read. For its part, PubliCola had been looking to partner with a larger media company with established and proven ad sales and business departments.

SagaCity Media bought PubliCola.com from Feit, Barnett, and the Cola’s other two other owners, Greg Smith, CEO of Urban Visions, and Rajeev Singh, COO of Concur Technologies.

“When I launched PubliCola in January of 2009, my ‘office’ was a snack bar table in the state capitol building. Now, just a few short years later, we’re being bought by SagaCity, a well-respected and established media powerhouse. What a short, strange trip it’s been,” Feit said.

He added, “I’m thrilled that Erica and I can get back to full-time reporting with Seattle Met’s dedication, infrastructure, and horsepower backing us up.”

Nicole Vogel, President and Founder of SagaCity, said, “It’s such an interesting and crucial time in Seattle’s history, and now more than ever scrutiny of our political leaders and the political process is essential. We couldn’t be happier to give PubliCola, whose commitment to this kind of analysis is without question, a place to do this important work,” Vogel said. “As for the business side, Seattle Met and SagaCity have always believed that, wherever people have found value, there is logically a corresponding business model to support it. We are proud to say that this philosophy continues to work successfully for us.”

PubliCola@SeattleMet will continue publishing Cola features such as "Morning Fizz," the blog’s daily dose of “caffeinated news and gossip” along with "Afternoon Jolt," about the day’s political winners and losers, and its "ThinkTank" series of dueling weekly editorials on pressing local issues. In conjunction with "ThinkTank," PubliCola@SeattleMet will host regular events to bring the community together to debate civic issues. There are also many other plans in the works, so stay tuned.