The Press Democrat and two affiliated publications in Sonoma County are being sold by Florida-based Halifax Media Group to a local partnership that includes two Democratic power brokers. Here's a look at the main investors:
An aide and driver for North Coast Rep. Doug Bosco in the 1980s, Anderson, 48, became a leading Democratic fundraiser before founding a trio of lobbying, development and investment firms that quickly made him one of the Bay Area's top dealmakers. Through a partnership earlier this year, he bought a majority stake in the Sonoma Index-Tribune. His proposed 59-room luxury hotel, Chateau Sonoma, would sit on land that includes the newspaper's office, a half-block from the Sonoma Plaza. His commercial and residential holdings in Sonoma and Sonoma Valley alone now total more than $15 million, including the Fifth Street East estate where he lives in Sonoma, a 75-acre spread in Kenwood and Ramekins Culinary School, Event Center and Inn in Sonoma. He is a former consultant to the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and a lobbyist for the tribe's partner, Station Casinos of Las Vegas, which together are building the 3,000-slot machine casino next to Rohnert Park. His development firm is a managing partner in the $6 billion redevelopment of San Francisco's Treasure Island.
A former assemblyman who represented the North Coast in Congress from 1982 to 1990, Bosco, 66, is one of the region's chief political power brokers, opening his stately home on Santa Rosa's McDonald Avenue to a steady stream of candidates for national, state and local office. A self-described "conservative Democrat," Bosco's stands on logging and oil drilling in the region clashed with more liberal party members and led to his ouster from office. As an attorney in private practice, he has represented timber, mining and railroad interests and is a partner in the company now operating freight trains in Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties. He is married to Gayle Guynup, a retired Sonoma County judge who is part of a wealthy Humboldt County timber and ranching family.
Falk, 58, a former publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle, has served as president and chief executive of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce since 2005. He joined the Chronicle in 1987 and oversaw circulation, sales and marketing before serving as president and publisher from 2003 to 2004. From 1996 to 2000, he led the now-defunct San Francisco Newspaper Agency, which jointly published the Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner. A native of Lancaster, Pa., where he began his work in newspapers, he also has worked in New York and Ohio, including five years leading the launch of USA Today in the suburbs of New York City. He lives in San Francisco.
Hooper, 54, is president of Kenwood Investments, the development firm founded and led by Anderson. He also serves as chief operating officer of Sonoma Media Investments, the partnership that controls the Sonoma Index-Tribune after buying a majority stake in the paper in April. A former executive with Clear Channel Outdoor, where he oversaw real estate and government affairs, he joined Kenwood Investments in 2010. He has served as a board member for the San Francisco and Oakland chambers of commerce. He lives in Danville in Contra Costa County.