A group of senior managers from Village Voice Media Holdings has acquired Seattle Weekly and its sister papers, launching anew under the name Voice Media Group. The classified advertising site Backpage.com will not be part of the new company, and Seattle Weekly will cease running escort ads, effective immediately. Following is a statement detailing the transfer of ownership:
DENVER, September 24, 2012 - New holding company Voice Media Group today announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase the publishing and related sales properties owned by Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC. The purchase includes the iconic Village Voice Media alternative weekly newspapers and their associated websites, as well as the national advertising arm of the company.
The buyout is being led by Scott Tobias, who has been Village Voice Media Holdings'
chief operating officer and will be chief executive officer of the new Voice Media Group.
Christine Brennan will become executive editor of the new enterprise after more than
nineteen years as the executive managing editor at VVMH, and Jeff Mars will serve as
chief financial officer, also building on his experience as vice president of financial
operations for VVMH. Tobias, Brennan and Mars will comprise Voice Media Group's
Backpage.com, also currently owned by Village Voice Media Holdings, is not part of the
buyout. Backpage.com will go its own way as a separate company with separate
"Voice Media Group will center its attention on the growth of the renowned weekly
publications and continue its expansion into new and exciting mobile and online
platforms," said Tobias. "We are focused on building a dynamic media business that
allows our advertisers to target local audiences through multiple platforms. We will
continue to offer advertisers a national footprint with hyper-local reach and we will
continue to provide high-caliber and comprehensive content to our readers."
Under the terms of the agreement, Voice Media Group will own and operate the
following print publications and corresponding digital properties: Village Voice (New
York), LA Weekly (Los Angeles), Westword (Denver), New Times (Phoenix), Houston
Press, Dallas Observer, Riverfront Times (St. Louis), New Times (Miami), City Pages
(Minneapolis), New Times (Broward), SF Weekly (San Francisco), Seattle Weekly, and
OC Weekly (Orange County). Voice Media Group will also purchase and take over
VVMH's national advertising division, which will now be called VMG National. VMG
National will continue to sell national advertising for more than 56 partner sites and
publications, reaching more than 3 million readers across 56 key metro markets each
"The publishing properties purchased under this agreement have always exemplified a
commitment to editorial integrity -- delivering reliable and essential news and cultural
coverage to their local communities," said Brennan. "Voice Media Group will champion
and nurture this journalistic heritage."
The new company will continue to serve local markets with thought-provoking articles,
opinionated reviews, and comprehensive events and listings, while expanding the brand's digital footprint across mobile and online platforms.
About Voice Media Group
Voice Media Group is a privately held media company focused on the production of
relevant news and entertainment content across print, mobile and web properties for the
culturally aware consumer. The company will own and operate thirteen leading weekly
newspapers -- including Village Voice (New York), LA Weekly (Los Angeles),
Westword (Denver), New Times (Phoenix), Houston Press, Dallas Observer, Riverfront
Times (St. Louis), New Times (Miami), City Pages (Minneapolis), New Times
(Broward), SF Weekly (San Francisco), Seattle Weekly, and OC Weekly (Orange
County) -- affiliated digital properties, and a national sales arm, VMG National. At its
outset, VMG will reach more than seven million monthly readers in print and 16 million
unique desktop visitors each month, in addition to 1.2 million email subscribers, more
than 5.7 million visits on mobile, and more than forty signature food, music and arts
events per year nationwide. Meanwhile, VMG National will serve more than 56 partner
sites and publications with weekly print circulation of 3.14 million and 94 million
pageviews per month. For more information, visit voicemediagroup.com.