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St. Louis Publisher offers a 'Competing Employee-Owned Idea' to laid off newspaper staff from The River Front Times

Really Big Coloring Books, Inc. Publisher St. Louis, MO 800-244-2665

Really Big Coloring Books, Inc. Publisher St. Louis, MO 800-244-2665

St. Louis's River Front Times has been sold; all staff laid off. Longtime book Publisher Wayne Bell offers fired staff a competing employee-owned Option.

Offering a group of people ownership in the industry they live and die for is not a joke, our company has the capability.”
— N. Wayne Bell, Publisher

SAINT LOUIS, MO, UNITED STATES, May 23, 2024 / -- St. Louis media outlets are abuzz today about local alt paper, The River Front Times (RFT) being sold, and all staff members being laid off. Sarah Fenske previous RFT editor lamented on X, "Well, on this story the RFT got scooped, and @stlpublicradio has a good overview of what we know about its future. It breaks my heart that the good stories we were working on won't be published. It breaks my heart that good people lost their jobs today. This was a small team, but a remarkably scrappy one, and we left it all on the floor, every damn day. I have no idea what I'm going to do tomorrow, but I know I'm going to miss waking up and working with this remarkable crew. Fenske, also a previous host on St. Louis Public Radio.

Wayne Bell broke news of his offer yesterday afternoon on social media, quoting, "Didn't even know the RFT was still in print? Our company does own some nice high-end printing presses. If the fired employees want to start a competing paper, to replace their old haunt, contact us. I am sure the fired RFT employees would have fun starting a new paper, especially if they owned it.......Just call, DM or email," wrote Bell. His comments have been shared numerous times across social media. He has received over 200 positive comments across different platforms.

Bell stated he's been in the publishing industry since childhood, which includes publishing newspapers, magazines, books, and other paper products. His company works with international and name brand corporations. "Helping maintain a local voice is important to the community. As a book publisher, I understand how valuable and precious it is for a community to be heard. We keep a copy of the First Amendment posted on our wall at work. Partisanship or partisan hackery is not an asset. Freedom of Speech is what people in this country and this industry live and die for. Offering a group of people ownership in the industry they live and die for is not a joke. Our company has the capability.

"Simply put, this is about ink and paper, voices to be heard, all the rest is communication, good editing and the ability to share the truth." Bell said he's received two contacts thus far who want to explore his offer.

Nasherrall Bell
Really Big Coloring Books, Inc.
+1 314-695-5757
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