Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Novato Advance rescued

The Novato Advance has been saved from closure and its 17 employees will keep their jobs.

Scripps Enterprises of Charlottesville, Va., has agreed to sell the weekly newspaper to Marin Scope, which publishes weekly papers in Marin County serving Mill Valley, Corte Madera/Larkspur, Sausalito, San Rafael and Ross Valley. Marin Scope is owned by billionaire brewer Vijay Mallya, whose numerous residences around the world include one in Sausalito, according to this 2003 Chronicle profile.

On Sept. 10, the Advance announced that it would be closing in two weeks due to declining advertising and rising expenses. Publisher Paul Hutcheson said at that time that the paper has lost money since 1999 despite both a print and online presence.

Yesterday, Hutcheson told the Marin Independent Journal that the mood in the newsroom was "good," adding, "this is a lot to absorb in a short period of time."

Hutcheson said the Advance plans to put out an issue next week, although it may be slightly smaller in size.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed but Paul Anderson, manager-publisher of the Marin Scope weekly newspapers, said all 17 Advance employees have been asked to stay on.

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