This story was written by Joseph Tartakoff.
Creative Loafing, the second largest alt-weekly chain in the country, has been sold to hedge fund (and creditor) Atalaya Capital Management for $5 million. Creative Loafing filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, only a year after purchasing the Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper, in a deal that led to its downfall. The company also owns weeklies in Tampa Bay, Charlotte, N.C., Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Chicago and Washington D.C., as well as music site Listen.com.
Creative Loafing Atlanta reports that Atalaya outbid Creative Loafing CEO Ben Eason, who offered $2.3 million for the company that his family had started in 1972. Eason reportedly had borrowed $30 million from Atalaya to purchase the Washington City Paper and the Chicago Reader. (Eason says he has no regrets and plans to start a “new media” company.).
Atalaya says it does not plan to close any of Creative Loafing’s papers and that there are no “planned layoffs.” The company is appointing a new board, which includes former LA Times editor Jim O’Shea and Michele Laven, the former president and COO of alt weekly chain New Times.
By Joseph Tartakoff