Developer Rob Brewster said this week that he’s decided not to buy The Local Planet, an alternative weekly newspaper in Spokane.
Brewster, who is renovating several downtown buildings including the Montvale Hotel, confirmed in April that he was interested in buying the publication. He has been paying some of the newspaper’s staff and providing the operation free rent in one of his buildings while he looked into the purchase.
“I just woke up at 3 a.m. thinking real estate, real estate, real estate. That’s what I want to do. I’m going to focus on what we do best,” Brewster said.
Though he believes Spokane needs a successful alternative weekly and doesn’t rule out starting his own one day, Brewster said the “success of the paper is too questionable at this point” for him to continue investing.
“I don’t particularly want to take on a failing enterprise,” he said. “It just doesn’t make any financial sense for me.”
Brewster said he doesn’t know what will happen to the newspaper now.
The Local Planet started operations in February 2000. After four publications, founding editor Connye Miller and her husband, Matt Spaur, bought the paper. Miller died in June 2003.
In November, Spaur sold the paper to Paulette Burgess and Eric Walker. They parted ways shortly after, with Burgess buying Walker’s share of the company. Burgess said in April that she’d ceded the paper back to Spaur after missing one of her monthly payments to him.
Spaur did not return a call seeking comment.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.