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SouthComm acquires CityBeat

March 5th, 2012
Deal makes Nashville holding company the nation’s second largest publisher of alternative weeklies.

Nashville, Tenn. — SouthComm Inc. announced today it has acquired CityBeat from Lightborne Publishing Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The award-winning alternative newsweekly CityBeat has been serving the Greater Cincinnati area since November, 1994.

CityBeat is the sixth alternative weekly under the SouthComm umbrella, making the company the second largest owner of alt-weeklies in the country. The company also owns the Nashville Scene, LEO in Louisville, the Kansas City Pitch and Creative Loafing papers in Charlotte and Tampa. CEO Chris Ferrell said SouthComm’s latest expansion fits its model of operating niche publications in mid-sized cities throughout the Southeast and Midwest.

“CityBeat has a long history of covering the local government, music, arts, and culture scene in Cincinnati,” Ferrell said. “We look forward to having them as part of the SouthComm family of publications. We are excited to expand into Cincinnati, which is a very good city for us to build out our model of having multiple niche publications in each market.”

Dan Bockrath, the publisher of CityBeat, will remain in his role at the helm of the publication. “After years of operating this paper independently, I am excited to have a peer group of publishers to share ideas with and learn from," Bockrath said. "The other SouthComm papers are some of the best in the country in markets the size of ours. I think the best years of CityBeat are still in front of us. I am very energized by this acquisition."

The transaction also includes the other assets of Lightborne Publishing, including the women’s magazine A-Line and the MidPoint Music Festival.

About SouthComm Inc.

SouthComm was formed in late 2007 to operate regional niche publications. The Nashville-based company now owns more than 20 titles targeting general news, alternative, business, society and women audiences in Nashville, Louisville, Kansas City, Charlotte and Tampa as well the regional Medical News chain of papers. The company also owns Target Marketing and SouthComm Publishing, custom publishing companies serving chambers of commerce and other associations around the country. For more information, visit