Seattle’s SGN announces new owner/publisher

by Fred Kuhr

The SGN, known for many years as Seattle Gay News, has been acquired by Ocean Shores, Wash.-based Stratus Group, LLC. The sale closed September 30, 2023. With this ownership transfer also came a publisher transfer, from Angela Cragin to Mike Schultz, owner of Stratus Group.

Former SGN publisher Angela Cragin

This acquisition falls under the umbrella of Stratus Group LLC, which also publishes the online bimonthly LGBTQ newsmagazine Coastal Pride (, centered in Ocean Shores, serving southwest Grays Harbor County. While the two publications appear in different formats and markets, synergistic opportunities exist for content and marketing, according to the SGN.

“This opportunity of bringing the SGN under the Stratus Group umbrella is both humbling and inspiring” said Schultz. “My hat is off to [former publisher] Angela Cragin, who exercised the vision and courage to keep the SGN running in the face of significant personal loss and adversity, and negotiated this transition with an eye toward the paper’s future. My gratitude also extends to the dedicated SGN staff, who diligently and brilliantly make the magic happen each week, in print and online.”

Cragin, daughter of the paper’s longtime owner, publisher, and editor-in-chief George Bakan, inherited the SGN upon his sudden death in 2020. With an outpouring of community support, she chose to keep the business running as she spearheaded a rebrand and restructuring.

“While the SGN’s geographic expansion now extends to Ocean Shores on Washington’s Pacific Coast and Spokane on its eastern border, print issues will consolidate from weekly to biweekly … with continued quarterly print special issues,” said Schultz.

A week before the official announcement, SGN acting editor Benny Loy previewed the changes in an editorial entitled, “A goodbye to SGN publisher Angela Cragin.”

Despite the personal loss of her father, Cragin “led us forward into what you see today. Behind the scenes, she worked tirelessly to not only keep the paper running but to improve it in the process, hiring a diverse crew of new writers, boosting the paper’s original reporting, and broadening its perspective. Her efforts ensured that the SGN, founded in 1974, nearly 50 years ago, would survive,” wrote Loy.

“Angela saw not only the paper’s historical value to the LGBTQIA+ community but also the value of our present-day work. She gave us a safe place to share our diverse identities and experiences. She gave us the opportunity to go out into our communities and report on what is important to us. These gifts are priceless,” Loy added. “… Angela will no longer be guiding us forward, but she leaves a lasting impression to help light the way. We are unbelievably lucky to have had such an impressive woman to care for us and this paper and carry on her father’s legacy.”

Volume 25
Issue 9

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