Amid the cavalcade of news this week, a media mystery story piqued the curiosity of some journalists. LA Weekly, the venerable Pulitzer-Prize-winning alt-weekly, was sold on Wednesday by Voice Media to a new company that promptly fired 9 of 13 editorial staffers, including all the top editors. Finally, on Friday, in a post, the weekly’s new operations manager Brian Calle revealed its new investors, while joking about the mystery: “We’ve seen all the speculation. Is it a Russian oligarch? Is it some Trumpista? Is it Lord Voldemort?” Calle didn’t exactly defend the firings, except to reassure readers that LA Weekly was in the hands of those who want to make the publication “the cultural center of the city.”
Here are the new investors, including UC Berkeley law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky who told the LA Times that he plans to invest out of respect for Calle.
- David Welch, Semanal Media’s chief executive, is an attorney who has vigorously represented cannabis startups and is an expert in marijuana law
- Kevin Xu, a philanthropist and investor who is the CEO of MEBO International, a California and Beijing based company, specializing in human body regenerative and restoration science.
- Steve Mehr, an attorney and investor
- Paul Makarechian, a boutique hotel developer
- Mike Mugel, a real estate redeveloper
- Andy Bequer, a Southern California–based investor.