Tue April 29, 2014
LEO Weekly Bought By Group Led By John Yarmuth's Son
Update: LEO Weekly's incoming principal owner, Aaron Yarmuth, said he plans to immerse himself "in all things LEO" once the purchase is finalized.
Yarmuth said he's agreed to the purchase with LEO's current owner, SouthComm Communications. He's in the process of finalizing the list of local investors who'll join him.
As far changes, Yarmuth said he's interested in pushing LEO more into the digital realm—something that wasn't a concern when his father founded the paper in 1990.
“I think on substance and on principle and mission we are as entertaining and as eccentric as they come and I don’t think we’ll have a problem engaging with people, but we have to seek them out," he said. "We can’t force them to come seek us out and pick us up, necessarily.”
He also mused on the possibility of bringing back LEO's old logo.
Yarmuth said LEO is "something that’s been part of the Louisville I’ve known my entire life.”
Once the purchase is complete, Yarmuth plans to spend several weeks learning the culture of LEO. He confirmed that Dave Brennan will remain publisher.
"I think there is an opportunity to be edgy, to keep people on their toes," he said, adding later: "I truly believe that I can reinforce what I view as a point of pride for the Louisville community—that’s the LEO I knew and grew up with."
Yarmuth said he's also purchasing NFocus, though SouthComm will retain rights to the name.
Yarmuth noted that he studied journalism at Indiana University. He said he plans to continue with his other efforts while assuming principal ownership of LEO.
Earlier: Long before he was a congressman, John Yarmuth was the founder of Louisville's alternative weekly, LEO.
And now his son is its principal owner.
The Nashville-based media company SouthComm Communications has sold LEO to a group of local investors led by Yarmuth's son Aaron, LEO news editor Joe Sonka reported in a blog post Tuesday.
Founded in 1990, LEO was sold to Times Publishing Co. in 2003 and later went to SouthComm.
The paper has gone through its struggles in the past year. In August, LEO editor Sarah Kelley left the paper after being told to cut an editorial staff position. (Sara Havens is now the editor.) Another job was also cut.
Dave Brennan will remain LEO's publisher. In Sonka's blog post, Brennan said:
“The Yarmuth name is synonymous with LEO Weekly, and I am very excited LEO will be 100 percent locally owned and operated. Aaron’s passion for the publication and vision for the future will no doubt help LEO Weekly grow its audience and strengthen our business endeavors.”
SouthComm also owns NFocus. No word on if this sale has any bearing on that publication.