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SAN FRANCISCO – December 20, 2020 – In a major expansion of its regional publishing business, Clint Reilly Communications – publisher of the Nob Hill Gazette and Gentry Magazine – today announced the acquisition of the San Francisco Examiner and its affiliated publications, including the SF Weekly. The 155-year-old Examiner joins the Reilly family portfolio after nine years under the ownership of Black Press LTD, publisher of more than 150 titles across the western United States and Canada. The sale includes the Examiner’s intellectual property, as well as its commercial printing facility on Evans Avenue. Terms were not disclosed.
“We have provided stewardship of one of the iconic newspaper brands in the U.S. for the past 9 years and are extremely proud of the quality of journalism and the role the newspaper plays in the community,” said Rick O’Connor, president and CEO of Black Press. “However, the Examiner has become increasingly difficult for our executive team to manage as many of the team live in either Canada or Hawaii and have been unable to travel to San Francisco. We are delighted to return it to local ownership.”
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented Black Press LTD in the transactions. Reilly was represented by the San Francisco firm, Farella Braun + Martell LLP.
“My father grew up in the Mission District selling newspapers on the corner in the 1930s and newspapers have always been an integral part of my life,” said Clint Reilly, Chairman & President of Clint Reilly Communications. “I learned during my 25 years as a political consultant how important strong journalism is to a functioning democracy, and it has never been more critical than it is today. The pandemic has brought an avalanche of challenges to the region, and we look forward to The San Francisco Examiner being a positive force in the community as we rebuild.
“The Examiner is in the Bay Area’s DNA; making a contribution to its legacy is an awesome responsibility and I could not be more excited – or humbled – to take it on.”
Long the flagship media property of the legendary William Randolph Hearst and the Hearst Corporation, the Examiner was sold to Florence Fang and her sons Ted, James and Douglas in 2000 after Reilly filed a landmark federal antitrust lawsuit to keep the paper alive when it had already been closed. It was sold to Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz in 2004, who harbored ambitions to nationalize the Examiner brand. The title traded hands once again in 2011, this time to the San Francisco Media Company, made up of a consortium of newspaper executives headlined by Canadian newspaper mogul David Holmes Black of the Black Press, at which point it was joined by the SF Weekly and the SF Bay Guardian under the SF Media Co. umbrella.
Reilly’s acquisition of the Examiner comes less than four months after adding Gentry magazine to the company’s portfolio, alongside the 43-year-old Nob Hill Gazette, which it has owned since 2016.
In acquiring the Examiner, Reilly adds to his overarching company’s collection of premium SF Bay Area brands, which includes the landmark Merchants Exchange Building, 235 Pine Street office building, the Little Fox Building in Jackson Square, 340 Pine Street and 360 Pine Street office buildings, the Julia Morgan Ballroom, the Merchants Exchange Club and Credo Restaurant.
About Clinton Reilly Communications
Headquartered in the historic Merchants Exchange Building in the San Francisco Financial District, Clinton Reilly Communications is jointly owned by Janet and Clint Reilly. CRC is part of a diversified family of organizations including commercial real estate, hospitality, event production, food and wine, media and nonprofit endeavors including Bay Scholars – a scholarship program for low-income high school students – and Clinic by the Bay, a free Health Clinic in the outer Mission co-founded by Janet Reilly. In addition to her co-ownership of CRC, Janet Reilly is a member of the University of California Board of Regents.