News broke this morning that Paul Hobby, with the help of Goldman Sachs, is exploring a sale of Texas Monthly, which he bought three years ago for $25 million. Who is the most likely buyer? An extensive and exhaustive and intensive coffee-fueled bull session this morning at the D Magazine studios has produced the following uninformed, expert prediction: Ray Washburne will buy Texas Monthly.
As was revealed in our 2010 profile of Washburne, he has had an interest in the publishing business since he was about 10 years old. He later launched the short-lived Texas Business and owned a scrappy, award-winning, groundbreaking alternative magapaper called The Met (full disclosure: I worked there at the time). So he’s got the bug. That’s a hard thing to shake.
In recent years, the M Crowd restaurateur and Highland Park Village co-owner has gotten more involved in politics. After Washburne served as vice chair of the 2016 Trump Victory Committee, the president put him in charge of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Politics and publishing can be complementary endeavors.
Then there’s Washburne’s recent $28 million acquisition of the Dallas Morning News’ former downtown headquarters. Known as the Rock of Truth, the old building could use a high-profile, head-turning tenant.
Connect the dots, people. Washburne will buy Texas Monthly and move it to Dallas. None of the hippie Austin liberals who currently edit and design the magazine will want to make the move north. Washburne will staff it up with his own hand-picked, more conservative crew. He’ll use the publication to amplify the already-powerful Texas voices in D.C. The magazine’s slogan — “the national magazine of Texas” — will be changed to “the national magazine from Texas.” He will, in short, make the magazine great again.
If Hobby paid $25 million for the thing, Washburne will get it for $10 million, $2 million of which will be paid in Mi Cocina gift cards.
You heard it here first.