Rachel Swan of the East Bay Express reported this afternoon that the sale had been finalized, attributing the information to two sources. Later, the Express quoted Guardian Executive Editor Tim Redmond as saying that the deal wasn't final but that he was "very optimistic." Then the SF Weekly got a hold of Examiner President and CEO Todd Vogt, who said:
- "Huh. That's very optimistic on their behalf ... I've met Bruce Brugmann twice in my life. When I heard he might be interested in selling, that was one of the two times.
- "We haven't bought anything ... For the record, we believe in newspapers. If anything is for sale, we'd be bidders on it. If Bruce and Jean are gonna sell, we'd be interested."
It's no secret that the Examiner has been looking for newspapers to buy. Last month, the Press Club reported that the Examiner got into a bidding war for the Tracy Press, Scotts Valley Press-Banner and Patterson Irrigator, which were eventually bought by H. Lee Wilcox of San Angelo, Texas, for $1.25 million.
The Examiner was purchased last November by a group that includes David Black of Black Press, a Canadian firm that owns more than 170 community papers in Vancouver and northern Washington state as well as the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal and the Honolulu Star Advertiser in the U.S. Other investors include Examiner President and CEO Todd Vogt and chief financial officer Pat Brown.
Correction: A previous version of this item incorrectly described the ownership of the Examiner. It has been corrected above.