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Pelican Press Sold to Observer Group

The weekly paper based out of Siesta Key was sold for an undisclosed sum.

Wednesday afternoon the venerable Pelican Press was sold to the Sarasota-based Observer Group for an undisclosed sum. The weekly newspaper was sold by Journal Communications of Milwaukee. Pelican editor Rachel Hackney confirmed the sale.

The Observer Group operates four publications in the Sarasota-Manatee area and one on the Palm Coast in eastern Florida.

The agreement was reached after executives of Journal Communications flew into Sarasota to sign the papers. Hackney indicates all of the Journal publications in Florida are for sale, including The Mariner in Venice, Clay Today and the Punta Vedra newspaper near Jacksonville.

The Pelican Press, based on Siesta Key, has a 40-year history in the area. It regularly wins awards from the Florida Press Association for excellence in journalism, including recent awards for editorials and in-depth reporting. It is in contention this year for best investigative reporting.


Full disclosure: Stan Zimmerman is the county beat reporter for the Pelican Press.

Bob June 09, 2011 at 11:13 AM
I just hope the Observer Group realizes the treasure they have and they don't try to fix what isn't broken. Nice piece Stan.
Stephen Platek June 09, 2011 at 11:28 AM
This is sad indeed. Pelican Press was a straight down the middle news organization with strong investigative reporting. On the other hand Rod Thompson and his minions at the Observer papers have a clear hard right wing political agenda often disgused as advertising and "community service". Some of the reporting and opinion makes the hair on my back stand up with its drumbeating pro business at all cost, pro Rick Scott point of view. Certainly not a journal focused on consumer protection. Not a good day for Sarasota.
Chris Taylor June 09, 2011 at 12:48 PM
Stephen, I hope you find the type of news and information that you want on Sarasota Patch. Let us know if you have some ideas for coverage.
Lois A Levin June 09, 2011 at 01:22 PM
The Pelican Press has been a newspaper for the entire community. The Observer is propaganda that transparently caters to the Right. Perhaps Sarasota Patch will fill the gap.
Rich Unger June 09, 2011 at 01:32 PM
The Pelican Press never backed down from a story, from Arden to Zimmerman these guys got into the story and told it like it was, I hope the Observer will let the Zim Man continue to write as he can only put into words. The Observer plays too much name dropping and nose in the air mentality, the ads even have no kick. I hope they don't destroy the essence of the Pelican. I asked the local Libraries which paper flies out the door, and they said although we have 100x more copies of the Observer on display than the Pelican, people gravitate to the Pelican. NUFF SAID. Please don't ruin a great local publication.

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