Jan 5, 2024 - News

Cleveland Scene sold to Cleveland Magazine publisher

A newspaper box on a street corner for Cleveland Scene Magazine with a sign in the window reading: "Repent. Let Jesus Save You."

A downtown Scene box in the late 2010s. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

Cleveland Scene Magazine, one of America's longest running alternative weeklies, is changing owners, again.

Driving the news: The publication has been sold to Cleveland Magazine parent company Great Lakes Publishing.

Why it matters: The sale returns the storied alt to local ownership and, for Great Lakes, enhances an existing portfolio of regional publications.

Catch up quick: Scene was founded as a music publication in 1970, and in 2013, Euclid Media Group purchased the alt weekly.

  • Last year, Euclid dissolved and sold the eight publications under its umbrella to the company's two co-chief operating officers, Michael Wagner and Chris Keating.
  • Scene became part of the San Antonio-based Chava Communications, run by Wagner and his wife, Cassandra Yardeni Wagner.

What they're saying: "This move aligns with our mission to provide compelling content that resonates with everyone in our local community," said Great Lakes Publishing president Lute Harmon, Jr., in a press release.

  • "We are thrilled to welcome Cleveland Scene, while keeping it distinct and authentic."

Details: Scene editor Vince Grzegorek, staff writer Mark Oprea, dining editor Doug Trattner and music editor Jeff Niesel will stay on as part of the sale, which goes into effect Friday.

Between the (head)lines: "I've been a loyal Scene reader since I was a teenager, ever impressed by its top-notch reporting and indispensable voice," said Cleveland Magazine editor Dillon Stewart.

  • "I'm eager to learn from and collaborate with their talented team members, strengthen each publication's individual identities and, most importantly, better serve our readers."

What's next: While editorial resources may be shared across Great Lakes Publishing titles, Scene will continue operating as a print and digital product separate from Cleveland Magazine.

The bottom line: "Great Lakes Publishing is an amazing steward and champion of local journalism in Northeast Ohio, and, while giving us further resources, wants Scene to be Scene," Grzegorek said.

  • "And for that, we're grateful."

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