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Station Casinos Advisor Part of Press Democrat Purchase. What Do You Think?

Sonoma Media Investments, which also owns Sonoma Index-Tribune, will now own multiple Sonoma County news outlets.

The Press Democrat on Thursday reported that the paper is being purchased by the same investment group that owns Sonoma Index-Tribune.

The partnership, Sonoma Media Investments, includes major political influencers Doug Bosco, a former congressman, and his former intern, Darius Anderson, a Sonoma-based developer, Sacramento lobbyist and Democratic Party fundraiser, with ties to the Graton Rancheria casino.

On Friday, the Press Democrat ran more details on the new owners. To see the article, click here.

Anderson is the founder of Platinum Advisors, which has been consultant to Station Casinos, the Las Vegas gambling company that is the proponent of the casino. Platinum is one of the biggest lobbying firms in Sacramento, claiming clients such as PG&E and AT&T, according to the Press Democrat.

The newspaper and the Sacramento Bee reported in 2010 that Platinum had agreed to settle a corruption probe by the New York Attorney General for $500,000, over allegations of payments to state officials to win public pension investments. Platinum settled without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, the Bee reported.

Other Sonoma Media partners involved in the Press Democrat purchase include Steven Falk, former publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Bill Hooper, president of Anderson's Kenwood Investments, who is also a former executive of Clear Channel Outdoor, a billboard advertising company, according to the Press Democrat.

These investors will also take ownership of Petaluma Argus-Courier, North Bay Business Journal and associated websites as part of the deal, the newspaper reported.

The Press Democrat was previously owned by Halifax Media Acquisitions, a Florida company.

Anderson is the proponent of a $30 million hotel and spa complex—Chateau Sonoma—on land behind Sonoma Index-Tribune. He and his wife, Sarah, own an antique store with the same name, as well as Ramekin Culinary Institute in Sonoma.

According to the Press Democrat, their unionized newsroom staff issued a statement saying that local ownership "offers the best chance to achieve what we all want, and that is for The Press Democrat to continue to be the North Bay's premier source for quality local journalism."

On the other hand, Gabe Meline of North Bay Bohemian had this to say on Thursday: "I think local ownership of the daily paper of record is a good thing. But in his role as a self-styled political kingmaker, it's hard to imagine Bosco keeping his business interests away from the newsroom he now owns. You don't buy a newspaper in 2012 to get rich. You buy a newspaper in 2012 to gain influence. Remember that when you read the Press Democrat from now on."

TELL US: What do you think about the purchase? You can take part in the poll below and also leave a comment, if you'd like.

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Active Thinker November 04, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Gabe's comments are so true...Hello FOX news...watch out
Xyiencesucks Dotcom November 04, 2012 at 09:12 PM
"Platinum settled without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, the Bee reported." Sounds like these guys have a lot in common with the folks behind Station Casinos. The Fertittas were former business partners of the Greenspuns, who are huge Las Vegas media magnates with ownership interests in the city's newspaper industry. Station Casinos also advertises heavily in the city's newspapers, greasing the wheels so that coverage of their worst transgressions isn't too critical. And those transgressions all too often go unpunished because the Fertittas wind up making the same type of settlements as Platinum. They pay too many tax dollars to Nevada to get in any criminal trouble, and when it comes to civil courts they're more than happy to pay a fine if it means they get to keep up their ruthless, unethical, and scurrilous business practices.

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