The publisher of the Culver City (Calif.) Observer has placed an ad online with craigslist looking for “highly motivated” newspaper advertising salespeople to work in Tucson.
The Observer is a weekly newspaper that serves west Los Angeles communities including Culver City, Santa Monica, Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey, Westchester and Venice, according to the paper’s Web site.
When contacted Thursday, Observer publisher Stephen Hadland confirmed that he had placed the ad.
“But I’ve signed a confidentiality agreement with Gannett and there’s nothing more I can tell you,” he said.
The connection between Hadland’s paper and a Santa Monica paper whose publisher is David Ganezer was unclear Thursday. Ganezer’s paper also is called the Observer.
Ganezer contacted the Citizen in February asking for information about how to contact a newspaper broker handling the sale of the Tucson Citizen for Gannett Co. Inc., the Citizen’s corporate parent.
Ganezer also told the Citizen that he has signed a confidentiality agreement and would not say if he was trying to buy the Citizen.
Online archives of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper show that Hadland was a failed bidder for the Star-Bulletin in 2000. Liberty Newspapers, the owner of the Star-Bulletin, was in a joint operating agreement with the Gannett-owned Honolulu Advertiser. Liberty attempted to close the Star-Bulletin in exchange for $26 million from Gannett. The federal government intervened and forced a sale of the Star-Bulletin instead.
Gannett announced Jan. 16 that it would try to sell the Tucson Citizen, which it has owned since 1976, and would close the paper if it wasn’t sold by March 21.
On March 17, Gannett announced that “very serious” parties had come forward with bids and the company was in negotiations with them. At that point the paper went to a day-by-day publishing status.
By Renee Schafer Horton, Mark B. Evans