Wanna Buy LA or Los Angeles?
You Can Have Them Both For $8 Million
Is There An American Businessman Who Will Step Up?
The drama continues as we discover that a mysterious German, living in Reiden, Switzerland, a small agricultural village in Lucerne Canton, controls the two most valuable domains in Los Angeles, California, and probably among the top 10 most valuable in the nation. Is he (or she) a James Bond/Goldfinger character? An international investor with quite a long reach? A politically astute player who is about ready to enter the political frey in California and change history?
Speculation is burning a hole in my file on the matter. The background is just as fascinating as the possible future outcome. The great domain name, LA.com has been the subject of our articles and tweets for some time. It was originally purchased by the Tribune Tronc boys when they owned the Los Angeles Times empire, before it was dismembered and sold off. They promised a great hub, a portal that was presumably going to connect to the Times, and gather a large presence on the net.
But those promises vanished. The Tronc boys paid about 1.2 million for LA.com A bargain at the time. When they sold the Times to Dr. Soong -Shiong, they didn’t mention the domain, or he forgot to ask. Mr. Shiong was busy. He had paid 500 million for a possibly losing newspaper. He didn’t get the famous iconic building the Times had occupied for about a century, the building had been sold to Canadian developers.
And then there was the printing plant. That property had also been sold, so the Times had to find a new huge warehouse to put their printing presses, as well as find a new home for their staff. That’s how they were run out of L.A., all the way to El Segundo, where their HQ is now. The great L.A. Times, the internationally respected newspaper built by the Chandler family owners, who controlled downtown Los Angeles and its politics for over 100 years, had been sent into exile to a plain beachtown, outside the City Limits.
Looking back to the 1960s, it is worth remembering just how powerful the Chandlers were. Here’s a taste of it. Facing them was a hill, called Bunker Hill. Living on it in the 60s were 20,000 working class Angelenos, the blue collar workers who slaved in low income jobs to keep the great City humming. But Chandler, it was claimed by one historian, did not like all those poor folks living up on the hill, looking down on his City Hall and his L.A. Times building. So he wiped them out.
It sounds harsh, but it’s all true. He pressured for the largest (at that time) Redevelopment Project in the United States. All 20,000 residents were removed from the hill and everything torn down. Then the hill itself was cut down, I think it was 200 feet. Later, a couple museums were built on it, and the Grand Park, a symbolically occult designed arena, surrounded by the Courts and Administrative State, was build to face the City Hall, which had been designed by a 33 degree Mason, complete with a pyramid on top. It was the finishing touch of the symbol and center of power of the ruling class in L.A.
The Chandlers are long gone, a faded memory of their glory days. Their instrument of power, The Los Angeles Times, is a shadow of what it was in the 1960s. It is a new era. The old ruling class of Los Angeles are either dead, residing in assisted living homes in Arizona, or shaking in their mansions waiting for home invasion thugs to break in and rob them. In its place, vying for power, are radical Marxists, wealthy real estate developers, extreme leftists, the remains of black culture split between traditionalists and the BLM movement. It’s quite a tango, with shifting alliances, stealth democrats, and a small but feisty Republican conservative movement who hope to salvage something of civilization before the radical democrats totally bankrupt and destroy the City.
Last year, L.A.com was put up for sale by the Troncs, the price was $5 million. I thought that there was a good chance that Dr. Shiong of the Times would get it. He didn’t, missing his second chance at the gold ring, and it was picked up by an unknown person. The site has the potential to be the killer of not only the Times, but to give some of the leftist cable channels like CNN and MSNBC a run for their money.
Whoever bought it didn’t have any big ideas. The site sat for quite a while, advertising an elitist email address for only $99 per year. At first I thought it was a joke. Who would pay 100 bucks a year for an email address? Those are free from gmail, outlook, yahoo and others. Besides, cel phones are kings. Everyone is texting, instant messaging. Emails are fading in the marketplace.
Now a new landing page is up. The email fun is gone. Today, it’s strictly business. LA.com is for sale. With it is LosAngeles.com, another power name. Both for only 8 million.
Are these two domains worth it? The answer is complicated. Look at inflation, running around 10% It’s bad enough if you are a working class slob like me, but if you have a stack of bills in the bank adding up to millions, better find a safe place to park it. Stock market? Oh sure, that’s smart. There are only a few choices: Gold, silver, good real estate and great domains, meaning a great .com like LA.com.
The goal would be to have something left in a few years after the stagflation has destroyed value in everything else. If you have $100 sitting in the bank, in 10 years of this insane inflation, your buying power will be really low, like a cup of coffee at Starbucks, if they are still in business.
LA.com also has tremendous potential for a political disrupter. Make it a tabloid and go for broke. The Democrats in LA are pathetic, donkeys with no ears. Crime is soaring. The infrastructure in crumbling, the celebrities are banal. There’s a lot of fodder. The Times is finished, propped up by advertising inserts from Communist China. They are so woke that a lot of folks call it the El Segundo Times, or worse. They are way left of center, running dogs of the woke donkeys, and nowhere to go as far as a money making business. The middle and the right don’t read it because of its slant, young people are getting their news on their phones, and small business is looking for more productive venues to put their money.
Running L.A.com as a conservative but feisty tabloid on the web would bring some sanity back to Los Angeles. And running LosAngeles.com as a cultural/event site with a slightly liberal bent would be a perfect match.
It’s a weird turn of events. A mysterious German, living in an apartment or condo in a village in Switzerland controls the two best domains in Los Angeles. Some Canadian developers are tearing up the old L.A. Times iconic building in downtown L.A., and the Times itself has been shoved into a neighboring beach town. Who’s going to step up and kick up a political and cultural dust storm? Who’s going to pull a few mil out of their Swiss bank account and proclaim themselves the new Ruler of Los Angeles? A two-headed Kingdom, LA.com and LosAngeles.com. The beginnings of a new empire. And if it fails in its mission, you still own the domains. And it is Los Angeles, even if it’s over-run by a herd of wild donkeys.