Sound Publishing, the owner of the Little Nickel classified papers and 36 small community papers in Western Washington and northern Oregon, has bought Seattle Weekly from Village Voice Media for an undisclosed price.
Simultaneously, VVM sold one of its other papers, the SF Weekly, to the San Francisco Examiner, which is owned by Black Publishing, Sound Publishing's parent company.
In a statement, Sound Publishing president Gloria Fletcher said, "We think highly of the Seattle Weekly and its faithful readership. The Weekly fits quite well into Sound Publishing’s culture of delivering unique and relevant content to both print and digital readers.”
The marriage is, for obvious reasons, an odd fit: Sound Publishing did not, until now, own any alternative weeklies; its main business is free classified papers and community newspapers such as the Sequim Gazette, the Forks Forum, the Arlington Times, and the Bellevue Reporter.
Additionally, East Sound Publishing VP Josh O'Connor's assessment that "this publication has been a leader in shaping Seattle for many decades, and we look forward to managing this business in the future” is a little off. While once a big player in local issues, the Weekly's political impact seems negligible in this decade.
Weekly editor Mike Seely had no comment on what the sale means for the Weekly's future.
The Weekly's rival, the Stranger, reported on rumors about the sale last night while also reporting that the Seattle Times was in on the deal and could be buying the Weekly. Seattle Times publisher David Boardman and spokeswoman Jill Mackie both told the Stranger they weren't part of the deal.