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Village Voice Media’s founders sell alt weekly chain to run adult ad site

Monday, September 24, 2012

The founders and principal owners of Village Voice Media, whose properties include the Village Voice, LA Weekly and 11 other alt weeklies, including SF Weekly, have sold the newspapers. Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin announced last night that a group of the papers’ editors and publishers has bought the privately-held chain for an undisclosed sum and will operate it as Voice Media Group.

Lacey and Larkin, pals since their days at Arizona State University, will retain what is perhaps the chain’s most lucrative asset—Backpage.com, whose adult ads critics say has made it a leading conduit for online prostitution.

The newly-formed alt weekly company, based in Denver and whose chief executive officer is former VVM chief operating officer Scott Tobias, will sever ties with Backpage. The ad site that Lacey and Larkin will devote themselves to has long been an albatross for VVM. Backpage’s smarmy image had caused legitimate advertisers—already in short supply—to turn away. Arizona Republic; press release via Westword
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