WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2017 — Mark Ein has reached an agreement to purchase the Washington City Paper (WCP), the alternative weekly newspaper renowned for its high-quality, responsible, local journalism since 1981, from SouthComm Inc. Mr. Ein, a D.C.-area native and experienced venture capitalist and philanthropist, is making a strong commitment to the paper's sustainability over the long-term, retaining Alexa Mills as chief editor, and assembling initial groups of WCP Alumni and Washington-based business and civic leaders to provide editorial and financial support to City Paper, respectively.
The terms of the transaction will remain confidential. It is expected to close the first week in January.
“It's impossible to overstate the importance of high quality journalism – particularly today,” said Ein. “Every thriving community needs strong local news, and Washington City Paper has been a critical part of the fabric of our city, and a great incubator of journalistic talent, for decades. With a talented staff and the support of our initial groups of respected journalistic veterans and business and civic leaders, I want to do everything I can to insure that the City Paper continues producing great journalism and responsible local news for decades to come.”
Under his leadership, Ein has formed two groups to re-energize the paper. In the first group are founding members of the Washington City Paper Journalist Alumni Group that worked at City Paper during their career and that will offer editorial and other support. Members include CNN Anchor Jake Tapper, author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Kate Boo. The latter two have each won both the MacArthur Genius Award and National Book Award.
Ein has also garnered the support of an initial group of the “Friends of Washington City Paper” that includes Washington-based business and civic leaders who will help in individual ways including advising, contributing and investing. Members include Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder and CEO Ted Leonsis, renowned chef and ThinkFoodGroup founder José Andrés, former DC mayor Tony Williams, I.M.P. Chairman Seth Hurwitz, United Talent Agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer, author George Pelecanos, executive Mark Walsh, and BrandLinkDC Co-CEO Jayne Sandman. Advisors on the acquisition include journalist Harry Jaffe, fundraiser Nancy Anderson and communications executives Eric London and David Dreyer, and Latham & Watkins.
“It speaks volumes about City Paper that so many extraordinary journalists and leaders from across the Washington landscape have come together so quickly to support the City Paper's future success,” Ein said. He anticipates expanding the groups considerably and added “We will need and work for broad community support so City Paper can be sustainable and fulfill its important mission over the long-term. We hope and expect many more people will join and contribute to our team.”
Readers can show their support for Washington City Paper by using the hashtag #ISupportWCP.
“We are overjoyed today here at City Paper because we are committed to local and public service journalism. We are especially excited to get back to work. We have many story ideas right now,” says Alexa Mills, WCP's editor. Ms. Mills will remain in her post as chief editor and there will be a search for a new Publisher, with current publisher Eric Norwood continuing to be part of the paper for the foreseeable future. While Mr. Ein will support the paper, especially as it relates to building and strengthening its foundation, he will not have any daily role.
As the result of today's announcement, Ms. Mills was able to assure the WCP staff that they can expect continuity with regard to their roles and salaries at current levels.
About Washington City Paper
For more than 35 years, Washington City Paper has been many things: from an opinionated guide to a growing city to a source for information and informed analysis of the arts and current events and more. One thing it has never been is predictable. Each week in print—and every day online—City Paper scans the city seeking the latest developments in D.C.
City Paper has cultivated a reputation as a single stop where newcomers interested in the District can get their bearings, and natives and longtime residents can stay abreast of their rapidly changing city. Looking for new restaurants, nightlife options, and developing districts? You'll need the latest updates in City Paper. Hungry for serious, in-depth coverage of education, politics, and housing? City Paper's journalists bring their institutional knowledge of the city to bear on these issues and countless others—in a witty, engaging, and often irreverent style.
About Mark Ein
Mark D. Ein is the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Venturehouse Group, LLC and Capital Investment Corp IV. He is an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has created, acquired, invested in and built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries over the course of his 25-year career. During this time, Mr. Ein has been involved in the founding or early stages of six companies that have been worth over one billion dollars and has led over $1.5 billion of private equity, venture capital and public company investments. Among the current majority-owned companies in the portfolios are Kastle Systems, LLC, the country's leading provider of building and office security systems acquired in January 2007. He currently serves as Chairman of the Boards of Lindblad Expeditions, Capital Investment Corp IV, VSGi, Inc and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Cision Ltd..
Mr. Ein, a native of the Washington area, is also the Founder and Owner of the Washington Kastles World TeamTennis (WTT) franchise that has won the league championship six of its ten years since its founding and set the record for the longest winning streak in US pro team sports history winning 34 straight matches from 2011 through 2013. In March 2017, he led the acquisition of World TeamTennis, the 43-year-old professional tennis league, from Billie Jean King and currently serves as its Chairman.
A native of the Washington area, he actively supports many community, charitable and cultural organizations and currently serves on the boards of the DC Public Education Fund where he serves as Chairman, DC College Access Program, DC Policy Center (Co-Founder), the United States Tennis Association (“USTA”) (where he is a Vice-President of the Board) and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He has won numerous awards including Washington DC Business Leader of the Year from the Chamber of Commerce, the Jefferson Award (the nation's highest honor for public service), Washington Business Journal Top Corporation for Philanthropy by Giving in Small Companies, Washington Business Journal Power 100, Entrepreneur of the Year Awards from Ernst and Young and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). In September 2009, Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty presented Mr. Ein with the Key to the City, highlighting not only his Washington Kastles success on the court, “but for their commitment to the District's communities and our youth.”
Prior to starting his firm, Mr. Ein worked for The Carlyle Group, Brentwood Associates and Goldman Sachs. He received his BS in Economics with a concentration in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from The Harvard Business School.
For more about Mr. Ein, visit www.capinvestment.com.
SOURCE Mark Ein
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