A former Newport Beach Harbor Commissioner announced Wednesday that he is closing the OC Weekly, ending the alternative newspaper’s 24-year run reporting on Orange County.
Duncan McIntosh served eight years as a harbor commissioner and owns the Newport Boat Show and Lido Yacht Expo.
“Today, the day before Thanksgiving, our owner Duncan McIntosh Company has decided to shut us down,” the OC Weekly tweeted Wednesday. “For the last quarter-century, we’ve tried to bring good stories to Orange County. It’s been fun, but now we’re done.”
An employee at McInstosh’s Irvine office said he wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday afternoon.
The Weekly established a unique voice holding the rich and powerful of Orange County accountable through investigative journalism and biting commentary. It also covered often under-reported corners of the region’s food, art, and entertainment.
“We were the mirror that Orange county didn’t want to see of itself,” former weekly editor Gustavo Arellano said.
Arellano touted the Weekly’s coverage of the Catholic Church pedophilia scandal and downfall of former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona as examples of its terrific acts of journalism. The OC Weekly played an outsized role in covering a county of 34 cities and more than 3 million residents in the wake of downsizing at the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times.
“We were way too small, way too understaffed and yet we repetitively punched above our weight class,” Arellano said.
In February 2016, Voice Media Group sold OC Weekly, an award-winning publication to Macintosh under undisclosed terms. The newsroom was subsequently moved from its long-time location in Costa Mesa to Fountain Valley.
Arellano resigned from the paper in October 2017 after McIntosh ordered him to cut half the staff, and he refused. OC Weekly had nine staffers in the editorial department at that time. On Wednesday, the newsroom stood at five full-time staffers, two part-time employees, and a small army of freelancers, Arellano said.
“Duncan is a callous, cruel fool who revels in making life miserable for his overworked and underpaid employees,” Arellano said. “Who closes a newspaper the day before Thanksgiving? Duncan McIntosh does.”
In August, Duncan McIntosh Co. sold Editor & Publisher magazine to a Delaware based Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) named The Curated Experiences Group after owning the publication for about 10 years.
McIntosh still publishes Boating World magazine, Sea magazine, and The Log Newspaper.