In the comments to an item posted earlier today on FishbowlLA, Henry Scott, publisher of upcoming West Hollywood online news outlet WEHOville.com (launching next week), denied that that he had offered to buy half of WeHo News. Ryan Gierach, owner-editor of the latter Web only publication, quickly chimed in via those same comments to restate the 2012 history and challenge Scott’s assertion. He also sent us a longer statement and proof of their spring business dealings.
There’s no doubt a deal was afoot, one that was designed to award Scott a 51% controlling interest in WeHo News. In lieu of the pair’s verbal agreement giving way to the drafting of an actual deal memo, the gloves are now officially off between West Hollywood’s longstanding online news leader and this friend turned competitive foe.
From Gierach’s emailed statement to FishbowlLA:
Attached is proof [screen shots of email correspondence] of how interested Scott was in purchasing an existing Internet business… It was two days after that last email that, in conversation with him, he made the comments I laid out in the article (although they were more specific and much more demeaning and derisive).
The comments were so offensive that I immediately went to see my therapist to hash out my feelings of betrayal and fear for the future once the rug was pulled from under me. I remain cash strapped and operating on the barest shoestring because of his decision to rescind his offer. Fortunately, there have been few times in the past seven years of operating WeHo News when I was NOT under-capitalized.
I will continue to function and we will continue to put out the best, most insightful and most interesting publication about West Hollywood there is – because I am of West Hollywood, not an interloper trying to figure it out. I came to forgive Mr. Scott (but did not forget) for his reversal and condemnation, but will not stand by if he intends to conduct business that way…
I have had to compile my reputation and build my business and readership the old-fashioned way, through strict honesty and journalistic and business integrity. I am glad to have the contrast between our styles manifesting itself in a city where the sophisticates will quickly discern the difference…
Gierach says he continued to discuss deal terms with Scott while on medical leave and soldiers on today as he always has. Scott meanwhile, when reached tonight by FishbowlLA, chose not to comment.