New Times hears Voice

Merger gives mag national breadth for Web ad agency

New Times Media, which owns 11 alternative newspapers in the U.S., will buy Village Voice Media to create a publisher with free weekly newspapers and Web sites in 17 of the biggest U.S. markets.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

New Times chief executive officer Jim Larkin will be CEO of the merged company, to be called Village Voice Media.

The merger gives New Times national breadth for its Internet-based advertising agency, Ruxton Media Group, and more resources to compete with local newspapers, said Village Voice CEO David Schneiderman.

The closely-held companies will continue to publish six Village Voice newspapers, including the flagship New York publication, and 11 New Times papers. Village Voice Media will have a combined weekly circulation of 1.8 million newspapers and 4.3 million readers, the companies said.

Schneiderman was named president of Village Voice Digital, where he will be responsible for the company’s Internet operations and the development of an Internet portal to compete with those of Yahoo! and Time Warner’s America Online.

Phoenix-based New Times executive editor Michael Lacey will keep his title with the new company.

New Times owns newspapers including the Pitch in Kansas City, Mo., and the Houston Press. Village Voice owns newspapers in Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Orange County and Nashville.

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