LA Weekly reveals its secret owners: mostly men with Orange County ties – LA Times

Last month, the CEO of LAist (DNAinfo and Gothamist) announced that the website would be shutting down after the staff had successfully voted to unionize, and now it is LA Weekly’s new ownership, after Voice Media Group sold the publication to Semanal Media mid-October, that is demonstrating how publication models are guided by investment opportunity and, in turn, how media outlets are being threatened by monetary interests.

Semanal Media did not reveal the names behind the ownership transition until last week when it laid off most of LA Weekly‘s writers and editorial staff. The rollover of staff has been framed by the new owners as a re-envisioning of the cultural scene in Los Angeles, but it is unclear whether the ownership is invested in LA’s culture or how much their interests lie in investment and real-estate opportunity.

From the LA Times:

“Mehr, who is also an attorney for the consumer law firm Jacoby & Meyers, said the investor group is guided by a belief that LA Weekly had been underserving L.A. by producing superficial coverage — though he declined to cite examples.

‘There’s no agenda other than making an immense effort to allow [LA Weekly] to be the voice of L.A. again,’ Mehr said in a phone interview Friday.

He said he wanted LA Weekly to help raise the city’s reputation as a cultural hub.

‘We don’t have a cultural scene on par with New York and San Francisco,’ said Mehr, the son of Iranian immigrants who grew up in Arcadia and later moved to Dana Point. ‘We want L.A. to rise to that level and create a sense of community around it.'”

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