No it’s not an April Fools Day joke. The 40-year-old independent newspaper, the Marina del Rey Argonaut, has been sold to a newspaper chain, Southland Publishing, Incorporated.
The Argonaut was founded by David Asper Johnson, who was its owner-publisher until his death in 2006. He willed the paper to Argonaut employee Carol Hector, who ran it until her death in 2010.
Hector willed the paper to her spouse and long-time partner Arlene Ruiz.
According to a Sept. 8, 2010 article in the Argonaut, “Johnson, who founded The Argonaut in November 1971, said he wanted to assure the public that The Argonaut would continue to be locally owned as an independent local newspaper, and new publisher Ruiz says it was Hector’s wish to continue Johnson’s legacy. Hector had left instructions concerning the future of the paper that would assure its continuing as a locally-owned and -operated independent community newspaper, Ruiz added.”
Whatever it was, Southland Publishing, Inc. is now in control. The corporation seems to specialize in L.A. Weekly-type tabloids. Its most popular newspaper was L.A. CityBeat, which went out of business in 2006. It continues to publish Pasadena Weekly, San Diego CityBeat, and Inland Empire Weekly, among others.
Whether the Argonaut is facing a make-over or changes in its appearance or editorial policy is unknown at this time. However, it is noteworthy that Southland has appointed its vice president of operations rather than a journalist as its new Argonaut publisher.