Here’s some full circle news for you, below:
Founded in 1990 by John Yarmuth, Robert Schulman, Dudley Saunders, Mary Caldwell and Denny Crum, LEO was locally owned and operated for 13 years before it was purchased by media companies with corporate headquarters out of state, first in 2003 by Times Publishing Co. of Pennsylvania and then again in 2008 by SouthComm Communications of Nashville, Tenn. But LEO’s future looks to be coming full circle.
“SouthComm is pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement to return LEO Weekly to a local ownership group,” says SouthComm CEO Chris Ferrell.
What could be better than once again being locally owned and operated? Once again Yarmuth? The group of local investors purchasing LEO is led by the son of founder Congressman John Yarmuth, Aaron Yarmuth, who says, “LEO Weekly has been a part of my life since I was a child, and I am tremendously happy and proud to have the opportunity to help craft the next page in the paper’s life. I am not sure I would recognize a Louisville without LEO, and I am committed to maintaining our position as the progressive voice in our community. I would like to thank Chris Ferrell for this opportunity, as well as all of the time, energy and passion he committed to our beloved publication.”
Ferrell says, “While I will miss having Louisville as part of our family of papers, I can’t imagine a better outcome for the paper long term than returning it to the hands of the family that founded it, a sentiment echoed by LEO publisher Dave Brennan, who will continue in this position.”
“The Yarmuth name is synonymous with LEO Weekly, and I am very excited LEO will be 100 percent locally owned and operated,” says Brennan. “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.”
In his inaugural letter to readers in 1990, John Yarmuth wrote, “LEO will be a community forum in which ideas can be exchanged and debated in a FREE medium.” While LEO will remain a free print publication, part of the plan for future business endeavors and “crafting the next page” is an expanded digital presence, which will engage readers in content creation and open forum debate.
Another founding principle LEO is recommitting to, as Yarmuth wrote in 1990, is “It has to be fun! We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we know the world already is saturated with media and politicians and a lot of other people who take themselves much too seriously. So if we seem a little eccentric at times, please have patience — we’re trying to be eccentric all the time.”
Here’s to Louisville’s Eccentric Observer, once again local and once again Yarmuth!