AAN News

Court Allows Phoenix New Times Owners to Sue Sheriff Arpaio for 2007 Arrestnew

The ruling overturns a lower court ruling granting Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio qualified immunity.
Bloomberg  |  08-29-2012  5:14 pm  |  Legal News

Phoenix New Times Celebrates 40th Anniversarynew

New Times, which got its start in 1970 as a reaction to the Kent State shootings, hosted a party over the weekend to celebrate 40 years in existence. Native Arizonan and former alt-weekly writer and NPR editor Bill Wyman takes the anniversary occasion to look back and take stock of what New Times has built; it was the first paper started by Michael Lacey, who now oversees the Village Voice Media chain with business partner Jim Larkin. After saying he has "no reason to suck up" to Lacey and Larkin, Wyman concludes: "Aren't they everything we supposedly value about the press in the U.S.? They are idiosyncratic and uncorruptible, uncompromising and fearless; unlike a lot of places that adopt the motto, Lacey and Larkin really do print the news and raise hell. And as this troubled time for a troubled industry continues, they just may end up being the last men standing."
Phoenix New Times  |  05-25-2010  8:17 am  |  Honors & Achievements

VVM Underwriting Legal Challenge to Arizona Immigration Lawnew

In a note to readers published last week in Phoenix New Times, Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey and CEO Jim Larkin say that VVM is underwriting the cost of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona's forthcoming litigation against the state's new and controversial immigration law, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant. "Arizona has chosen to insist that all law enforcement in the state adopt the police-state tactics of infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio," write Lacey and Larkin, who both have been the target of Arpaio, before inviting New Times readers to chip in to help the ACLU fight the new law. "We would like to extend an invitation to you, our readers, to join in this struggle against the cracker policies of Arizona politicians and certain elements within law enforcement typified by Sheriff Arapio."
Phoenix New Times  |  05-05-2010  10:06 am  |  Industry News

VVM: Last Week's Court Order is 'Very Limited in Scope'

In a message to all Village Voice Media employees sent out today, VVM CEO Jim Larkin and executive editor Michael Lacey say the ramifications of last week's court order that suggested the San Francisco Bay Guardian could seize assets from papers other than SF Weekly has been widely misunderstood. "[The order] simply says the Guardian can try and go after cash distributions New Times receives from its publications as a limited partner or member of the company," they say, pointing out that "the amount of those monies is zero," since the company's publications are "separately organized limited liability companies or limited partnerships that own, operate and publish in their respective communities." They say that as they continue their appeal of the original judgment, "our publications will continue to publish and conduct business as they have all along." (FULL STORY)
Village Voice Media Press Release  |  01-12-2010  4:13 pm  |  Press Releases

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

Complaint Against Attorney for New Times Probe is Dismissednew

The State Bar has dismissed the final two complaints pending against Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, including one about his handling of the 2007 investigation of Phoenix New Times that ended with the arrests of Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey and CEO Jim Larkin. "No one in their right mind has ever looked to the Arizona Bar as a beacon of courage, and it has certainly upheld its longstanding reputation with this dismissal today," Larkin says.
Phoenix New Times  |  03-10-2009  8:53 am  |  Industry News

Last Year's Arrest of VVM Execs Becomes Campaign Issuenew

Tim Nelson, the Democrat challenging Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, is running a radio ad accusing Thomas of ordering the October 2007 arrests of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey because they reported in Phoenix New Times that they had been served a sweeping subpoena from a special prosecutor demanding information about the paper's online readers, Editor & Publisher reports. The ad says Thomas is responsible for "arresting journalists in the dark of night in front of their families because of what they published," and accuses Thomas of using KGB tactics. (New Times reports that Thomas tried to get the commercial pulled from local airwaves.) "Make no mistake about it: the New Times subpoenas and arrests were a massive abuse of power and the public trust," Nelson said at a press conference yesterday. "They have brought ridicule to our county and its justice system."
Editor & Publisher | Phoenix New Times  |  10-31-2008  9:34 am  |  Industry News

Judge Dismisses Parts of Phoenix New Times' Lawsuitnew

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton this week dismissed some, but not all, of a suit filed in April over the arrests of New Times founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin last year. Bolton dismissed the allegations of racketeering and negligence against special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in addition to dismissing County Attorney Andrew Thomas entirely as a defendant, New Times reports. However, she left claims of gross negligence, malicious prosecution, and false arrest and imprisonment to be handled by Superior Court, unless facts presented in an amended complaint persuade her otherwise (New Times has until Oct. 31 to file such a complaint). Saying that Bolton's ruling "is not a surprise," Lacey writes in a blog post that "her ruling in the current case is consistent with her scant regard for the First Amendment and the rights of a free press."
Phoenix New Times  |  10-09-2008  9:44 am  |  Legal News

SF Weekly Will Appeal Ruling in Bay Guardian Casenew

In a move that was widely expected, SF Weekly and Village Voice Media have announced they will appeal San Francisco Superior Court Judge Marla Miller's ruling in favor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian in the predatory-pricing case. Miller rejected arguments last week to overturn or modify the jury's March verdict. Calling the suit "economic terrorism," VVM CEO Jim Larkin claims "mom-and-pop advertisers in San Francisco will suffer from [Judge Miller's] handiwork, as will any aggressive new business in the city that attempts to challenge a larger, established competitor."
SF Weekly  |  07-23-2008  11:05 am  |  Industry News

Phoenix New Times Receives First Amendment Award from APnew

The Associated Press Managing Editors association selected winners for its annual awards this week in New York, and the group cited New Times in the First Amendment category for "for aggressively investigating and reporting on grand jury subpoenas seeking notes, tapes and confidential sources related to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an investigation that expanded to other citizens." The awards will be presented during the group's September conference in Las Vegas.
The Associated Press  |  06-27-2008  8:09 am  |  Honors & Achievements

David Carr Weighs in On Phoenix New Times Arrests and Lawsuitnew

"Reporters have ended up in handcuffs in the United States before -- some have gone to jail to protect the identity of sources -- but it is a rare moment when someone here is imprisoned for the crime of typing," Carr writes in today's New York Times. He details how the tumultuous relationship between New Times and Sheriff Joe Arpaio ultimately led to the arrest of the paper's founders last year for disclosing a grand jury probe of the paper and its readers. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey recently sued the sheriff and other officials for the debacle. "Suing people is not the core of what we do, but our arrest was just the culmination of an ongoing reign of terror that is still continuing," Lacey says.
The New York Times  |  05-12-2008  9:46 am  |  Industry News

Sheriff Joe Arpaio on New Times Suit: 'I Welcome Being Sued'new

The Maricopa County sheriff "reacted with bluster" to the news that he was named in a suit filed yesterday by Phoenix New Times, the Arizona Republic reports. "They can't take their own medicine, so they have to be like crybabies and file a lawsuit against the sheriff and the county attorney," Arpaio says. "So you know what? I welcome the lawsuit. I welcome being sued. They're going to have to answer a lot of questions." Arpaio also defended the rationale behind the original probe. "It became a problem when they put my name illegally on the web," he says. "And that became a problem for me and my family. A big problem." New Times founder Michael Lacey defended the suit, calling the actions of Arpaio and the other defendants "unprecedented. ... They locked up journalists for something they've written, not for something they've withheld," he says.
The Arizona Republic  |  04-30-2008  11:29 am  |  Industry News

Phoenix New Times Files Suit Over Last Year's Grand Jury Debacle

The lawsuit, filed today in Maricopa County Superior Court, says defendants Sheriff Joe Arpaio, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, lawyer Dennis Wilenchik and two county agencies subverted "the grand jury process" and committed other wrongdoing in their probe of New Times, which led to the arrests of the paper's founders. The 34-page lawsuit also accuses the defendants of retaliatory conduct in falsely arresting Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin and in maliciously prosecuting New Times. The lawsuit does not ask for a specific amount of money, but seeks general and punitive damages, and requests a jury trial. Read more on the Phoenix New Times' blog. (FULL STORY)
Phoenix New Times Press Release  |  04-29-2008  11:28 am  |  Press Releases

Arizona ACLU Names VVM Execs 'Civil Libertarians of the Year'new

Village Voice Media executive editor Mike Lacey and chairman/CEO Jim Larkin received the honor at the AZ ACLU's annual Bill of Rights dinner this weekend. They were being honored for publishing the county's illegal grand jury subpoenas against the Phoenix New Times and its readers last fall, for which the pair was ultimately arrested. But in presenting the award to the New Times founders, AZ ACLU past president John Hay explained that the well-publicized dust-up was only the tip of the iceberg. "The excuse we're using is what happened this fall when they faced down the Sheriff and the County Attorney. But they have in fact been defending civil liberties now for at least 38 years," Hay said. "So it is my pleasure to present these awards, which I think are slightly wrong. This says Civil Libertarian of the Year. I present these awards to Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin for being Civil Libertarians of the past four decades."
Phoenix New Times  |  04-01-2008  9:04 am  |  Honors & Achievements