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OC Weekly Sold to Denver Company

Formerly part of Village Voice Media Holdings, the alternative weekly is the latest Orange County publication to change hands this year. The new owners helped run the company before.

Village Voice Media Holdings -- which owns 13 weeklies and digital sites across the nation, including OC Weekly, L.A. Weekly and New York City's Village Voice -- has been sold to a newly formed Denver-based holding company, Voice Media Group.

It's Orange County's second major media sale this year. The Orange County Register was recently sold to the 2100 Trust media company. The Village Voice Media buyout was engineered by Scott Tobias, the new chief executive officer of Voice Media Group, according to a statement on the new Voice Media Group's website. Tobias had been chief operating officer of Village Voice Media Holdings.

Christine Brennan, currently the executive managing editor for Village Voice Media, will be the new top editor of the company and Jeff Mars will serve as the new chief financial officer, according to the company's website statement. Voice Media Group was officially incorporated on Sept. 21, according to the Colorado Secretary of State's office.

The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The now-former owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, will retain ownership of Backpage.com, an online advertising site. Lacey and Larkin helped start the New Times chain, which eventually bought Village Voice Media, in Phoenix in the 1970s.

``It's painful thinking about selling something you created with blood, sweat and tears, but it's much less painful to sell it to your peers,'' Lacey told the Arizona Republic.

Village Voice Media Holdings was incorporated in Delaware in 2005. Its predecessor, Village Voice Media Inc., was incorporated there in 1999, according to the Delaware Secretary of State's office.

``Voice Media Group will center its attention on the growth of the renowned weekly publications and continue its expansion into new and exciting mobile and online platforms,'' Tobias said in a statement.

``We are focused on building a dynamic media business that allows our advertisers to target local audiences through multiple platforms,'' he added.

``We will continue to offer advertisers a national footprint with hyper-local reach and we will continue to provide high-caliber and comprehensive content to our readers.''

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS

What do you think of the sale and the state of journalism in Orange County?

- City News Service

Dave Matus September 26, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Anytime a local inanity is sold off and run from a distance there will be something lost. Trust me I personally am not fond of the opinions expressed in the OC Weekly but I must respect their opinions.
Joel Peshkin September 27, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I hope they don't lose the investigative reporters. They are about the only new who bothers to investigate anymore.
Rich Kane September 27, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Don't think so, Joel, I used to work with those investigative reporters, and they are top-notch. This sale was really just a transfer of power more than anything, from what I can tell ...
Anonymous September 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Where would you find the OC Weekly?
Matt Gaffney September 27, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Dennis, You can find OC Weekly by thr back door of the Swallows or at Mugs Away in Laguna Niguel. I read it every week, it's informative.

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