Friday, June 20, 2008

Welcome to a One-Alt-Weekly Town

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Here lie two baked-fresh press releases -- one from Village Voice Media, Scene's soon-to-be-former owners, and one from Times-Shamrock, its soon-to-be-new owners. Long story short: Cleveland will soon be a one alt-weekly town. Some number of fine newspaper folks will be out of work sometime soon. And, finally, does anyone know when Little Bar opens? ... (Press releases after the jump. PD's story is here).
Times Shamrock Alternative Newsweekly Group Press Release Friday, June 21: Times-Shamrock Communications today announced the acquisition of the Cleveland Scene and the Cleveland Free Times, alternative newsweeklies separately owned by Village Voice Media and Times Publishing Co. of Erie, Pa., respectively. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. The deal is to close on June 25. The two alternative publications will continue to publish separately for their next three issues and then merge into a single newsweekly, the Scene, on July 23, according to Don Farley, publisher of the Alternative Group for Times-Shamrock Communications. Mr. Farley said that Matt Fabyan, publisher of the Free Times, will be publisher of the combined Scene newsweekly. "This is a great addition to our existing group of alternative newsweeklies," Mr. Farley said. "We look forward to serving the greater Cleveland community for many, many years." The Scene and Free Times each has won dozens of awards from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, the Cleveland Press Club and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Times Publishing Co. has owned the Free Times since 2003. Village Voice Media, the nation's largest publisher of alternative weeklies, has owned the Scene since 1998. Scene will be Times-Shamrock's fifth alternative newsweekly. Times-Shamrock, which is wholly owned by the Lynett and Haggerty families of Scranton, Pa., also publishes alternative newspapers in Baltimore, Detroit, San Antonio and Orlando. Times-Shamrock also owns eight daily newspapers in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Virginia and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; community weekly newspapers in Northeastern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York; and radio stations in Scranton, Baltimore, Tulsa, Reno and Milwaukee. For more information contact: Don Farley 443-452-1542 (office) 410-340-3651 (cell) Matt Fabyan 216-479-2033 x 230
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Village Voice Media Press Release June 20, 2008 For Immediate Release Contact: Andy Van De Voorde Executive Associate Editor Village Voice Media 303-293-3558 andy.vandevoorde (at) villagevoicemedia.com Village Voice Media announced today it is selling its award-winning weekly newspaper Cleveland Scene to Times-Shamrock Communications. Terms of the purchase agreement are not being disclosed; the deal is expected to close on June 25. VVM purchased Scene in 1998 and transformed it from a music paper to an alternative weekly offering in-depth investigative reporting and magazine style feature writing, along with authoritative music, film, food and arts coverage. Under VVM ownership, Scene has been named the best non-daily newspaper in Ohio multiple times by both the Cleveland Press Club and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and its writers and editors have received more than 100 national and state reporting awards. In 2004, the paper was named the top paper in its circulation class by the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards, a national competition in which it bested both dailies and weeklies across the country. VVM chief executive officer Jim Larkin lauded Scene's accomplishments over the past decade. "We more than achieved our journalistic goals in Cleveland," said Larkin. "This is a staff of remarkably talented and hard-working people. Unfortunately, after ten years, we weren't able to achieve our financial objectives." Times-Shamrock, based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, owns 17 radio stations and more than 30 newspapers, including its flagship Scranton Times-Tribune. It also owns six alternative weeklies, including the Baltimore City Paper, the Detroit Metro Times, the Orlando Weekly and the San Antonio Current. Village Voice Media is the nation's largest publisher of alternative weeklies; once the sale of Scene is complete, it will own fifteen papers, including the flagship Village Voice in New York City, the LA Weekly, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times and Denver Westword.

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