The sale of the Press Democrat was completed today, with additional investors in the 115-year-old paper, though not a sale price or each individual's percentage of ownership, announced just now.
Norma Person, whose late husband, Evert Person, sold the Press Democrat to the New York Times in 1985. She lives in Santa Rosa.
Sandy Weill, former Citigroup CEO with an active role in repealing the Glass-Steagall act and donor to the Green Music Center. He lives on Sonoma Mountain.
Jean Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. She lives in Santa Rosa.
Gary Nelson, founder of Nelson staffing. He lives in Sonoma.
Bill Jasper, CEO and president of Dolby Sound from 1983 to 2009. He lives in Sonoma.
Les Vadasz, founding member of Intel Corporation. He lives in Sonoma.
The makeup of the Press Democrat's ownership is getting very, very interesting. The involvement of Norma Person is welcome, surely—when owned by the Persons, the Press Democrat had a decidedly local feel. But expect plenty of noise to be made about Sandy Weill, whose $12 million donation to the Green Music Center was not without considerable scrutiny, even in the pages of the Press Democrat itself. A reliable source once related that Weill wasn't pleased with the Press Democrat for the criticism his history on Wall Street was garnering. You know what they say: if you can't beat 'em, buy 'em.
Best of luck to our many friends over at the Press Democrat as this sale goes through. Often, change of ownership is a reason to cut staff and restructure benefits, and we truly hope that this isn't going to be the case for the newspaper's employees. More importantly, we hope that what ownership spokesman and former San Francisco Chronicle publisher Stephen Falk says is true: that this new ownership won't meddle in the objective reporting of the newsroom.