A group of Annapolis business people, led by Annapolitan publisher Philip Evans, has purchased The Publick Enterprise, a twice-monthly tabloid founded 14 years ago as an old-style, community newspaper.
The newly formed Eastport Publishing Co. will produce the Annapolis paper, with founder Frank Pierce Young continuing as editor and publisher.
The Enterprise, modeled in style and appearance after late 18th-century local newspapers, has suffered financially in a weak economy that's drained advertising income from many publications, Evans said.
When he and other Annapolis-area residents -- all Enterprise readers -- learned the paper missed several issues since August and nearlyfolded, they decided to give it a boost.
The investors, includingphotographer Marion Warren and his wife, Mary, marina developer Mitchell Nathanson, Annapolitan general manager Timothy Hutchens and Annapolis Travel Service owners Stephen and Ruth Dukkony, formed the new publishing company with Evans as president.
Other owners include Robert Cadwell, Arthur and Patricia Edwards, John and Veronica Meneely, Michael Miron and Nancy Noyes. Evans stressed that the monthly Annapolitan magazine has no connection with the Enterprise.
Eastport Publishing purchased assets of TPE Limited, including the paper's nameand the right to publish, for an undisclosed amount. The first-half November issue, the first under the new owners, came out Tuesday.
The paper will continue focusing on community news, reported and written by previous regular contributors, Evans said.
"We absolutely have no plans to change the tone or type of editorial content it's been known for over the past 14 years," he said.
In a previous Anne Arundel Sun interview, Mr. Young said that when he and his wife started the paper out of their Annapolis kitchen, he wanted a paper "written of, for and by the people rather than at, to and on the people," with narrative, rather than hard news, inverted-pyramid style, stories.
Now, relieved of advertising and administrative duties, Young canspend more time improving the paper's editorial content, Evans said.
While Eastport Publishing won't alter the paper's appearance, it plans to improve typography and reproduction for a sharper, crisper look, Evans said.
The new owners also plan to market the newspaper more aggressively to advertisers, who in the past typically sought out the paper. Eastport Publishing will review the distribution area aswell, possibly to expand it beyond Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold and Kent Island.
Young blamed the paper's past financial difficulties on the recession.
"It's very rare that when shown its problems,a wide spectrum of supporters of a particular paper will appear fromamongst its readership to back its successful survival," he said. "Yet that's what happened."