by: Press Release | Dirks, Van Essen & Murray
Voice Media Group has sold the Riverfront Times, an award-winning St. Louis alternative weekly publication, to Euclid Media Group.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico represented Voice Media Group in the sale. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
VMG announced in January that it had retained DV&M to explore new strategies for its publishing assets, including the possible sale or acquisition of alternative publications or other digital businesses. VMG operates the largest group of metropolitan newsweeklies in the U.S., publishing papers in ten of the country’s most vibrant cities, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Village Voice in New York City.
VMG had owned the RFT since 1999. During that time, the publication won dozens of national and regional journalism awards and established itself as the leading alternative voice in the St. Louis area. In 2014, its reporters broke numerous stories related to the Ferguson protests, coverage that earned praise from the national media.
“We’re very proud of the work our staff has done in St. Louis, and we’ll miss them,” said VMG executive associate editor Andy Van De Voorde. “But we know the RFT will be in good hands with Euclid Media Group.”
Cleveland-based Euclid Media Group was formed in 2013 to acquire the Cleveland Scene, the Detroit Metro Times, the San Antonio Current and the Orlando Weekly from Times-Shamrock Communications. The company launched a fifth publication, OutinSA in 2014. In 2014 Euclid also orchestrated a merger of Detroit Metro Times and former alt-weekly, Real Detroit. Each property publishes engaging content in print and online, and specializes in producing culturally unique events to highlight the cities in a variety of categories.
Euclid has hired appointed Sarah Fenske as editor in chief of the RFT. Fenske is an award-winning journalist and veteran of the Riverfront Times, having served as its managing editor from 2010 to 2011 before leaving to become editor in chief of the L.A. Weekly. Under her direction, the Weekly became the nation’s most-read alternative newsweekly, growing its web traffic 63 percent and earning numerous national and local awards. Most recently, Fenske has worked as director of digital content at Feast Magazine, a regional food and drink focused publication.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to the Riverfront Times,” Fenske said of the hire. “The staff has been doing amazing work under difficult circumstances, and I’m excited to be a part of Euclid Media Group’s plans for the paper. I can’t wait to join Managing Editor Jessica Lussenhop and the rest of the team.”
“We share a passion for the St. Louis area and are beyond excited for the opportunity to do our thing here. I’ve always had enormous respect for the RFT and have been a reader since I was a teenager. ” said Michael Wagner, chief operating officer of Euclid Media Group. “I worked there under some great mentors, so this is a bit of a homecoming.” Wagner is a Missouri-native and former publisher of the Riverfront Times.