MEDIA

Orange County's OC Weekly Suddenly Shuts Down

The alternative weekly's owner, Duncan McIntosh Co., said it's in talk to sell it off.

OC Weekly, a print and online source for news about Southern California’s Orange County, suspended publication Wednesday without warning, employees said. 

Duncan McIntosh Co., the alternative weekly’s owner, told HuffPost it’s in talks to sell the alternative weekly.

“The Weekly has built a tremendous reputation for its hard-hitting coverage that’s cost more than one self-serving government official his job,” the company’s CEO, Duncan McIntosh, said. “We hope to have more details after the holiday about the expected change of ownership by a local businessman.” 

The news first broke earlier Wednesday in a tweet from OC Weekly’s official account.

“It’s been fun, but now we’re done,” it said.

Staff writer Gabriel San Román tweeted confirmation of the Weekly’s closure, which comes 24 years after it launched in 1995. His OC Weekly article exposing how many Disneyland employees live in poverty was recently awarded the best feature prize at the Orange County Press Awards.

OC Weekly had a reputation for targeting the region’s conservative politicians and controversial criminal justice system. Long known as one of California’s Republican strongholds, Orange County has been inching to the left in recent years. In the 2016 presidential election, a majority of the county’s residents voted for the Democratic candidate for the first time since 1936.

“The lords of Orange County won,” former OC Weekly publisher Gustavo Arellano tweeted about Wednesday’s closure.

McIntosh praised the staff for their commitment to punching up.

“I’m very proud of the journalists for consistently calling out those who were giving less to the County than to themselves,” he said in his statement.

Local media outlets are foundering nationwide, the Knight Foundation reported last month. Alternative weeklies and small-town papers have struggled to stay afloat as advertising dollars drop and consumers remain loath to pay for news. Other factors at play may include rising distrust of the media, something that President Donald Trump has repeatedly encouraged during his time in office.

Duncan McIntosh Co., which bought OC Weekly from Voice Media Group in 2016, owns several other publications about boating and fishing. 

This article has been updated with a statement from Duncan McIntosh Co.

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