Southland Publishing Buys Los Angeles Downtown News

The Los Angeles Downtown News, which has been covering Downtown L.A. for 45 years, has been purchased by Southland Publishing, an L.A.-based media group specializing in newsweeklies, magazines and affiliated online assets.

“We’re purchasing a sophisticated property and are pleased to bring the L.A. Downtown News into our family of media,” said David Comden, vice president of Southland. “Downtown Los Angeles has emerged as the most dynamic urban market on the West Coast and its future is very bright. The addition of L.A. Downtown News will greatly complement our coverage in greater Pasadena and the Westside of Los Angeles.”

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Southland Publishing, which was founded in 1997 and is based in Pasadena, has media properties throughout Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and Ventura counties and in five states. In Los Angeles, Southland owns the Pasadena Weekly, The Argonaut, Arroyo Monthly and Playa Vista Direct with a combined reach of more than 300,000 readers.

Downtown News was founded in 1972, and for the life of the publication has been helmed by founder, Editor and Publisher Sue Laris. The paper has an audited weekly circulation of 40,000 with 795 distribution locations in 16 neighborhoods. It has a vibrant website,, a daily email newsletter, an engaged social media fan base and a pair of high-profile annual magazines (the Downtown Guide and the Restaurant Guide).

Last fall, Laris announced her intent to sell the paper, which resulted in 40 serious inquires.

“It was key we find a buyer that understands and appreciates local newspapers,” explains Laris. “The immediacy, intimacy and personal relevance of the Downtown News has been the cornerstone of our success. We have been a hometown paper. David Comden and Southland get it. I couldn’t have hoped for a better hand-off. With Southland as the owner, Downtown News will remain the independent voice of Downtown Los Angeles.”

Comden will serve as the new publisher. The paper’s award-winning editor, Jon Regardie, senior writer Eddie Kim, and staff writer Nicholas Slayton will be staying on. Downtown News will continue to be headquartered in its building on First Street.

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