New Times is out with a press release today on its merger with Village Voice Media. Excerpt:
"Together, New Times and Village Voice Media create a truly national media company with highly desirable demographics, geographic diversity and a unique print and Internet platform that is poised for tremendous growth," said [CEO Jim] Larkin. "Alternative publications today, particularly those owned by New Times and the Village Voice, have become the definitive voices for ideas and information for young, progressive readers."
Village Voice Media will have a combined weekly audited circulation of 1.8 million papers and 4.3 million readers weekly when the merger is completed. Village Voice papers will join New Times' national advertising sales agency Ruxton Media Group. Ruxton will represent 35 weekly alternative publications from coast to coast with audited circulations of 3.1 million weekly.
The merger also will bring VVM online classifieds into New Times' backpage.com, which combines the popularity of free classified online bulletin boards with new revenue opportunities for affiliated papers. The addition of the six Voice papers means backpage.com will be licensed to 37 newspapers in major American markets.
New Times' and Village Voice's current portfolio of newspapers and online assets, which include many of the nation's most respected youth-oriented publications, are cultural touchstones in their respective communities. They challenge mainstream sensibilities and provide active readers with in-depth local news coverage, irreverent humor, spirited criticism, magazine-style feature writing and the most comprehensive local music, dining, arts and events listings.
Village Voice Media will have papers and Web sites in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, St. Louis, Orange County, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Kansas City, Nashville, the East Bay including Oakland and Berkeley, and the Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area.
It has been noticed around town that the L.A. Times has been strangely silent during the months that the impending merger has been rumored. That silence continues so far today.
Dan Savage at The [Seattle] Stranger
Eric Olsen at Blogcritics.org
Matt Welch at Hit and Run (with comments)
Earlier on LAObserved:
Weekly merger rumors: true
Sigman on Weekly takeover