Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Alternative Weekly Chicago Reader on the Block

Chicago Reader coverImage via WikipediaThe Chicago Reader, the alternative weekly launched in 1971 by Carleton College grads and retrieved from the bankruptcy heap for $5 million in 2009 by the Atalaya Capital Management, L.P. New York hedge fund, is for sale.

Stories in Crain's Chicago Business and The Chicago Tribune report that Texas-based Bulkey Capital L.P. is advising Atalaya regarding the unloading of the Reader, which distributes about 90,000 copies weekly through bars, restaurants, retail outlets and newspaper boxes. Potential buyers include the Phoenix-based Village Voice Media Holdings LLC and The Chicago Sun Times, which itself emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 and was bought this year by Wrapports LLC (see "TUOL" post 12/21/11).

Atalaya also owns the Washington City Paper and Creative Loafing Atlanta weeklies, by virtue of the hedge fund acquirinq the bankrupt Florida company Creative Loafing Inc in 2009. Bulkey contends the Reader is operating in the black nowadays, though distribution of the 41-year-old weekly is down 40,000 copies from four years ago.
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