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Former U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun Is Buying Louisville Magazine

Louisville Magazine by J. Tyler Franklin, Louisville Public Media-165528
Photo by J. Tyler Franklin

Louisville Magazine and Louisville.com have announced new ownership. Louisville resident and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Matthew Barzun has purchased the media outlets.

Louisville Magazine was founded in 1950 by the local chamber of commerce. It’s been owned by publisher Dan Crutcher since 1993. Barzun has lived in Louisville since 2001.

“I am a huge fan of [Louisville Magazine],” Barzun said in an interview with WFPL (which you can listen to in the player above). “I subscribe to it. I used to live with my family over in London and we'd get mail once a month from America and my wife and I would rush to be the first to grab Louisville Magazine when it came out. So we're big fans, subscribers, and when I had the opportunity to take the baton from Dan and to continue his stewardship of this wonderful product I leapt at the opportunity.”

Barzun says he sees the longer, in-depth stories currently found in Louisville Magazine as one of the media outlet's strengths.

“I think the importance of long-form journalism is a key part of it,” he said. “There was a recent piece over the summer about evictions, which also was done in partnership with Louisville Public Media. That's just one of many examples of just important storytelling. That — and Louisville Magazine isn't the only publication; I mean you have the CJ, you have what [WFPL is] doing, Insider Louisville, LEO. We've got a vibrant local media ecosystem of which Louisville Magazine is a key part."

Barzun recognizes the past decade has been tough for many traditional print media outlets; he was a pioneer of the dot com boom as a founder of website CNET,which he no longer owns. But he says he still sees opportunities for local print media properties like Louisville Magazine.

“I think print remains a really important, it's a good technology, you know," Barzun said. "And it’s not just sort of older people like me who think that, I think the younger generations, too, recognize digital for all the good stuff it can do, convenience, accessibility, and there's a different kind of convenience and accessibility that print provides. So I think it's a ‘both and’ story, not ‘either or’.”

Disclosure: Matthew Barzun is a current donor to Louisville Public Media, and Louisville Magazine has a business partnership with LPM.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.