(Columbia) Free Times Has New Owner

june 22, 2004  06:14 pm
Charlottesville, Va. – June 22, 2004 -- Free Times, the weekly newspaper in Columbia, SC, has been purchased by Portico Publications of Charlottesville, VA.

Founded in 1987 as a bi-weekly by Amy Singmaster, the paper now has a circulation of about 40,000 each Wednesday.

Portico Publications operates a free weekly in Charlottesville, C-Ville Weekly, and until recently published Blue Ridge Outdoors, a regional monthly outdoor sports magazine. The magazine was sold in March as part of a renewed focus on weeklies, said Steve Delgado, a Vice President of Portico who helped arrange the deal with Singmaster.

“We’re happy to have met Amy at a time we were looking to expand and she was looking for new opportunities,” said Delgado. “Free Times is a great paper, with outstanding people. It's an excellent fit for our company.”

Singmaster said that Portico “has the knowledge and expertise to take Free Times to the next level.”

With the exception of Singmaster, Publisher of the paper since its inception, all of the current staff of Free Times will remain at the paper, said Portico.

Terms of the transaction, which was finalized on Friday, were not disclosed.

Contact: Steve Delgado, Portico Publications, at 434-825-9429 or Steve@c-ville.com.