Overstory Media Group has acquired Vancouver alt weekly The Georgia Straight.
The move returns the 55-year-old news, lifestyle, and entertainment publication to West Coast ownership. It was acquired in 2020 by Toronto-based Media Central Corporation, which filed bankruptcy proceedings in March.
At the time of its acquisition in 2020, the paper was reaching about 2.7 million readers a month via print distribution and another 1.8 million at straight.com. Joining Toronto’s NOW Magazine, nowtoronto.com, and cannabis platform CannCentral.com under the MediaCentral banner, the transaction saw a streamlining of editorial and ad sales across the properties and a move away from The Georgia Straight’s longstanding focus on arts and culture. While nowtoronto.com remains active, NOW Magazine published what was expected to be the publication’s last print issue in August with staff unpaid for 21 weeks.
Overstory says reinstating The Georgia Straight’s focus on entertainment, music, food and news is its first order of business, already posting positions for an Arts Editor, Music Editor, and Food Writer.
“The Georgia Straight is a household name across the Lower Mainland. I grew up with it being a pioneer of independent thinking, and a passionate supporter of the arts,” said Farhan Mohamed, Overstory Co-founder and CEO, in a release. “For decades The Straight was the place to discover the community, while also giving thousands of talented groups and individuals the chance to be discovered. I’m proud to bring it into the Overstory community, and to have the chance to rethink what the next 55 years will look like.”
“Over the coming weeks and months we’re going to take time to talk with readers, partners, and the community at large to redefine and rebuild the publication that’s lost its way over the past several years,” Mohamed added. “At its best, The Straight captured and explored the beating heart of Vancouver’s culture – and became part of it. We are committed to bringing that back.”‘
Based in Victoria, Overstory Media Group now encompasses more than 12 digital-first publications and employs 50 full-time employees across the Vancouver Tech Journal, Burnaby Beacon, Calgary Citizen, Halifax alt weekly The Coast, and Capital Daily serving Greater Victoria, among other publications.
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