Village Voice Newspaper Chain to Split from Backpage.com

Village Voice Media (VVM) has split off from its controversial Backpage.com online advertising site and created a new company for its struggling chain of alternative weekly newspapers and websites. Backpage.com has been criticized for facilitating sex trafficking through its “adult” classified section. Dozens of national and local advertisers dropped their accounts as the result of an increasingly aggressive campaign.

Under the new plan, current Village Voice Media controlling shareholders Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin will operate Backpage.com independently, as a separate entity.

A new holding company called Voice Media Group and managed by new CEO Scott Tobias and VVM executive editor Christine Brennan will manage the 13 alternative weekly newspapers and their websites, as well as a national advertising network unaffiliated with Backpage, VVM attorney Liz MacDougall said in a statement. As part of the spinoff, Backpage classified ads will no longer appear in the weekly publications or their websites.

Online “adult” advertising generates about $3 million a month on five different websites, according to interactive media and classified advertising consultant AIM Group. Nearly 80 percent of that revenue goes to Backpage.com, AIM said in a report published earlier this year. Backpage.com generated an estimated $24 million in annual revenue from the lucrative online classifieds site.

Learn more at Chris Francescani’s and Nadia Damouni’s Reuters article: Village Voice newspaper chain to split from controversial ad site.

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One thought on “Village Voice Newspaper Chain to Split from Backpage.com

  1. backpage forums are a joke. they have moderators that don’t moderate. many of their users will harrass other users to no end and nothing will be done about it unless the person that is doing the harrassing complains…then the user that is complainging is banned. this site needs to be shut down. they have a terms of service but they do not abide by it. they cheat. they lie. they call people derogatory names all without reason. if you complain…you are banned. what justice is this? take for instance the user called madmax. he has continually harrassed many users and the users are banned although this jerk…madmax…gets away with everything.

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