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Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper sold this week

It's times like these I'm glad the Weekly Alibi is an independently owned paper: "The addition of two top-ten markets--and two of the industry's most respected alternative news products--offers us a pivotal gateway of connectivity with the young adult audience." That from Creative Loafing CEO, Ben Eason. According to the Chicago Reader, the southern alt. weekly chain that bought the papers (started in Atlanta circa 1972), "doesn't meddle particularly in the local operations of its papers." It just tosses loads of impersonal business-speak at them. Regardless, the sale was blamed on tough times for newspapers, a desire to retire and an eight-figure offer (for both papers).

I don't know about the Washington City Paper, but as a recent regular reader of CR, I haven't enjoyed the paper's output, as it is largely comprised of calendar listings and classifieds. Plus the layout is strange. This may be a great change for one of the most boring weeklies I've ever encountered.

On the other hand, last week's feature article was absolutely excellent. It tells the tale of an art therapist who has a vision to learn tattoo in order to help recovering drug addicts and ex-cons cover reminders of their old selves, and get their lives back together. What a great story.