Dec 9, 2022 - News

Local political group takes over The Bold Italic

Steven Buss and Sachin Agarwal of GrowSF

Steven Buss and Sachin Agarwal of GrowSF. Photo: Courtesy of GrowSF

The Bold Italic, a once-essential read for lifestyle and off-beat coverage of the city, has yet another new home.

What's happening: Medium, which most recently owned TBI, has offloaded the online publication — for free — to GrowSF, an upstart political action group.

  • Medium CEO Tony Stubblebine told the Chronicle on Thursday that GrowSF was the most "credible group" to take over TBI, and his company was moving away from "being publishers [them]selves."

What they're saying: "TBI used to be such a great source of positive, non-political news, and we're excited to steward it back in that direction," GrowSF director Steven Buss told Axios.

  • He maintained that his group would not use TBI's reach to spread its political leanings.

Yes, but: Some, including San Francisco's Latino publication El Tecolote, have questioned whether avoiding politics is possible.

Context: The Bold Italic launched in 2009 as a joint venture between the design firm IDEO and newspaper group Gannett.

  • It sold in 2015 to writer and startup founder Sunil Rajaraman and again in 2019 to Medium, as part of the company's premium subscription push.

What's next: Buss said GrowSF is searching for an editor-in-chief and hopes to relaunch the publication early next year.


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