The family-run news organization is owned and operated by longtime Oakland residents Stephen Buel and Judith M. Gallman. Buel, a former editor of the Express, and Gallman, who are married, have held a minority interest in the Express since 2007.
Following the acquisition, the Express and all four of Telegraph Media’s other periodicals will continue to publish as separate and editorially unique publications. The total staff size of the two companies is expected to remain the same or grow.
“I can’t imagine that anyone in the East Bay has more appreciation than Judy and I for the important role the Express plays in the local media landscape,” Buel said. “Our goal in adding the paper to our company is to strengthen that position.”
During a time of contraction in the publishing industry, Telegraph Media has grown during each of its four years in operation. Gallman and Buel founded the company in September 2013 to purchase a controlling interest in Oakland and Alameda magazines and The East Bay Monthly. In 2015, the company also acquired Bay Woof, the newspaper for Bay Area dog lovers.
With the Express, Buel and Gallman acquired the ownership interest of former majority owner Jay Youngdahl, who will continue to contribute his occasional column, Raising the Bar. Youngdahl has operated the paper since 2010, a period during which the Express won several journalism awards, including the 2017 George Polk Award for Local Reporting.
Telegraph Media has invested in local journalism as it has grown; last year, it hired Express editor Robert Gammon to lead its news and politics coverage for the magazines and The Monthly. The latter publication is expanding its editorial coverage starting in its September issue.
“I am very excited about the acquisition of the Express, which should enable us to do an even better job of delivering high-quality local journalism to East Bay readers,” Gallman said. “I’m looking forward to extending our editorial reach and connecting more readers to their region at a time when community journalism matters more than ever.”
Buel, who was editor of the Express from 2001 to 2010, and Gallman, who has edited Oakland and Alameda magazines since 2003, plan to carry on the Express’ long tradition of excellent music, food, and arts and culture coverage; hard-hitting news stories; and in-depth cover stories.
Former Express co-editor Kathleen Richards will be returning to the paper in August as its Editor-in-Chief. She was most recently managing editor of The Stranger in Seattle. Gammon will serve as News Editor for all of the company’s publications.
The addition of the Express also will enable Telegraph Media to improve its back-office operations and the caliber of its offerings to advertisers. With the addition of the Express, the company will distribute 134,000 copies of periodicals every month — by far the largest overall circulation in the greater Oakland/Berkeley/Alameda region.
Buel and Gallman are the majority owners of Telegraph Media. Alameda and Oakland magazine founders Tracy and Robert McKean are their minority partners.
In the coming months, Telegraph Media will relocate its headquarters from its Franklin Street office to the Express’ offices in the city’s Jack London district at 318 Harrison St., Suite 302.