AAN News

How's New Times Broward-Palm Beach Doing?new

The South Florida alt-weekly ran a lengthy cover story this week on the problems facing South Florida's newspapers, and decided that it would only be fair to report on its own struggles as well. Reporter Lisa Rab says that the New Times newsroom staff has shrunk by four (to 13) and its circulation has dropped from around 80,000 to 54,500 over "the past couple of years." She also talks to Village Voice Media president and chief operating officer Scott Tobias, who says there are no plans afoot to make the paper online-only, to sell it or to merge its operations with its sister paper to the south, Miami New Times.
New Times Broward-Palm Beach  |  11-19-2009  12:04 pm  |  Industry News

New L.A. Weekly Editor Talks About The Paper's Futurenew

Drex Heikes, the veteran journalist who came to the Weekly from the Las Vegas Sun this summer, tells the USC Annenberg publication Neon Tommy that he was brought in specifically to beef up the paper's reporting, and that's exactly what he will do. "We're pushing things that are very deeply reported," he says. "We want good, hard-nosed investigative work." Heikes acknowledges that the Weekly has seen some tough times in the past few years, but says he remains confident in the paper's future, in part because he's been told by VVM executive editor Michael Lacey that there won't be any more newsroom contractions (as the story notes, the Weekly is actually hiring again). "I would say, God willing, the place is going to grow and we can be judged on where we are a year from now or two years from now," Heikes says. NOTE: The Weekly points out that the Neon Tommy story has an as-of-yet uncorrected error -- the paper has five full-time editors, not three.
Neon Tommy  |  11-18-2009  2:42 pm  |  Industry News

L.A. Weekly Film Critic and Editor Leaves for Film Societynew

Scott Foundas has been named the new associate program director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he will work on series and event programs, including the New York Film Festival. "Scott's writing is an exhilarating dialogue with artists and audiences alike," society executive director Mara Manus tells Variety. "It is this vibrancy, along with Scott's deep film knowledge, that will contribute greatly to our growing organization, ensuring we continue to offer a vital place of serious film culture." IndieWire's Anne Thompson says Foundas' move is another nail in the coffin for the "dying art" of film criticism. "As one of the best critics working today, Foundas should be anticipating a long and happy career," she writes. "He's giving it up to program movies. This should not happen."
Variey | IndieWire  |  11-12-2009  8:33 am  |  Industry News

VVM Building Web Revenues by Collecting Niche Partnersnew

Village Voice Media CEO Jim Larkin tells Forbes that for web revenues, the company is continuing to focus on its "Voice Local Network," which sells ads on niche websites that partner with VVM. Larkin also says that VVM is on track to pull in $120 million in ad revenue this year (down from $141 million last year), and that the company is running at a profit.
Forbes  |  11-09-2009  12:33 pm  |  Industry News

Ruxton Changes Name to Voice Media Group

"Voice Media Group's national network of 50 alternative print publications and more than 100 digital publications and Web sites reaches more than eight million newspaper readers, and receives more than 25 million unique digital visitors per month," says the newly named agency in its press release announcing the change. Voice Media also launched a new website targeting media buyers. (FULL STORY)
Voice Media Group Press Release  |  11-05-2009  11:56 am  |  Press Releases

Will Alts Benefit if Dailies Go Behind Pay Walls Online?new

As daily newspaper publishers and even magazines continue to mull charging for content online, little has been written about how such a move would help or harm alt-weeklies. Village Voice Media new media director Bill Jensen, for one, says he's licking his chops. "We're praying for the day that [daily newspapers] go behind a pay wall," he tells Mediaweek. "That's good for us. We've always been free and we know free. We're not complaining about it."
Mediaweek  |  09-14-2009  9:49 am  |  Industry News

Indie Film Distributors Say They're Hurt by Media Cutbacksnew

Independent film is more reliant on film critics than mainstream big-budget film, with critics often having the ability to "help drive positive word of mouth and nudge arthouse moviegoers into seats without a big marketing spend," Variety reports. And the distributors of indie film say they're feeling the pain from "the loss of regional movie reviewers and diminishing newspaper space." Strand Releasing's Marcus Hu says his company has been particularly hurt by Village Voice Media's practice of assigning reviews to a few critics that run in every VVM market. "Before, at least, you had a new shot in each market," he says.
Variety  |  09-10-2009  8:40 am  |  Industry News

Tom Tomorrow is Back in The Village Voicenew

Tom Tomorrow's "This Modern World" returns to the Village Voice this week after a seven month absence. Tomorrow's comic was cut from all Village Voice Media papers -- along with all syndicated comics -- back in January. The strip is only returning to the Voice for now, but that may change in the coming months. "Altweekly cartooning overall has kind of been on the ropes for the past year or two, and any editor who takes a stand in support of the art form deserves profound thanks," Tom Tomorrow writes on his blog. "This is a first step, but it's a huge one in the right direction -- for me personally, of course, but with any luck, for other cartoonists as well."
The Village Voice  |  09-02-2009  3:51 pm  |  Industry News

Former, Current Owners of East Bay Express Resolve Differences

Eastbay Express Publishing LP, an entity controlled by former Express owner Village Voice Media, has reached a settlement with two of the paper's current owners to settle a suit VVM filed earlier this year. The suit alleged that Hal Brody and Express editor Stephen Buel still owed VVM $500,000 under the terms of the 2007 deal in which the paper was sold. Brody and VVM executive vice president Scott Spear say the parties have resolved that dispute and all other issues raised by the two parties in connection with the transaction. "We are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement satisfactory to both parties," Brody says in a statement. "It puts aside this distraction so we can all concentrate on running our daily business." (FULL STORY)
Village Voice Media Press Release  |  08-31-2009  4:47 pm  |  Press Releases

A Few More Details Emerge on Nashville Scene Salenew

Village Voice Media executive associate editor Andy Van De Voorde tells the Tennessean that the Scene's rumored financial troubles were not what led the company to sell the paper to Nashville-based SouthComm, Inc. "I have no reason to believe that anyone wasn't pleased with [the Scene] financially," he says. Van De Voorde also says that Scene editor Pete Kotz, who came to Nashville after VVM's Cleveland Scene was merged with Free Times, will leave the paper but remain in the VVM chain. Whether other staffing changes are in the works is not yet clear, though Van De Voorde notes that all Scene and Nfocus magazine employees will receive two weeks severance, plus a week of pay for every year of service and unpaid vacation time from VVM -- whether or not they keep their jobs under the new owners.
The Tennessean  |  08-20-2009  10:26 am  |  Industry News

It's Official: VVM is Selling Nashville Scene to SouthComm

Village Voice Media today confirmed the rumors that it is selling the Nashville Scene to SouthComm, Inc. VVM will also sell Nfocus magazine to the Nashville-based media company run by former Scene publisher Chris Ferrell. SouthComm also owns AAN member LEO Weekly. The deal is expected to close this Friday, and terms of the transaction are not being divulged. MORE: See SouthComm's statement on the transaction. (FULL STORY)
Village Voice Media Press Release  |  08-19-2009  12:14 pm  |  Press Releases

Is VVM Close to Selling the Nashville Scene?new

The Tennessean is reporting that Village Voice Media and SouthComm Communications are discussing the sale of the Nashville Scene, which VVM acquired in 2006. SouthComm, which is based in Nashville and run by former Scene publisher Chris Ferrell, also owns AAN member LEO Weekly and a handful of Nashville websites and publications.
The Tennessean  |  08-18-2009  10:44 am  |  Industry News

Complete Village Voice Archives Now Onlinenew

The first issue of the Voice was published on Oct. 26, 1955. Now we all can read that issue and every one that followed, courtesy of Google. The archives are hosted by the Internet juggernaut as part of the company's effort to digitize historical newspaper archives. "Get mad at our coverage of ancient history as well as of current events!" enthuses the Voice.
The Village Voice  |  08-04-2009  3:54 pm  |  Industry News

OC Weekly Cleans Up in Local Press Contestnew

The suburban paper won 15 awards -- almost twice as many as the publication that came in second -- when the winners of the Orange County Press Club's annual contest were announced last week. Gustavo Arellano was a veritable journalism-award vacuum cleaner, sucking up three first-place awards and two third-place finishes. R. Scott Moxley nabbed two first-place trophies, including best columnist, and one second-place award. Matt Coker and Nick Schou were also honored with multiple awards.
OC Weekly  |  08-04-2009  7:42 pm  |  Honors & Achievements

Two AAN Papers Make E&P's '10 That Do It Right'new

Phoenix New Times and East Bay Express both made the cut this year. News Times got the nod (subscription-only) "for its long campaign to shine a light on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a classic desert despot," says E&P. And East Bay Express made the magazine's annual list (subscription-only) as a result of its focus on "localization" and community-building. "It's a highly transportable idea," publisher Jody Colley tells E&P.
Editor & Publisher (sub. req.)  |  08-04-2009  1:33 pm  |  Honors & Achievements