For the Reader—new overlords? | Bleader

Monday, March 12, 2012

For the Reader—new overlords?

Posted By on 03.12.12 at 12:22 PM

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The Readers next big brother?
  • The Reader's next big brother?
It's a dramatic day at the Reader, where everyone's focus was commandeered by Monday's Crain's Chicago Business story reporting that this paper is "on the sales block."

"No deal seemed imminent," according to "sources," but one of the "potential buyers that was approached" is the Sun-Times. We're holding the Crain's story up to the light and shaking it vigorously trying to figure out what that means. It's a potential buyer because it was approached?

As for the other potential buyer, this is "an individual who said he was not pursuing a purchase, the sources said."

So one potential buyer doesn't want the Reader and the other hasn't said it does, if we're reading the Crain's report right. The article is so flimsy that everyone here naturally assumed that the lethal nine-tenths of the truth is hidden below the surface.

And by the way, the Crain's piece should have stated "potential buyers that were approached." The lack of standards throughout journalism except at the Reader is a good part of the reason why we're skeptical about anyone buying us.

On the other hand, we've considered ourselves on the sales block since the Creative Loafing Inc. papers came out of bankruptcy in 2009 owned by Atalaya Capital Management of New York. It's an investment firm, not a publishing company, and no one here or there has pretended for a second they were in journalism for the long haul.

We're a little surprised that the Sun-Times, not long out of bankruptcy itself, can afford to buy anybody. Maybe we should buy them first. There's talk here of passing the hat, and if we reach three figures making an offer they can't refuse. More likely though, the money's going to wind up in the March Madness pot. Better chance of a decent return.

There'll be a staff meeting this afternoon to discuss the Crain's story. If major on-the-record revelations are made, I'll pass them along.

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