by Todd O'Dowd
In an article on the Strib’s website, the Minneapolis newspaper is buying the alternative weekly from it’s parent company Voice Media as they are moving away from its alternative weeklies (which includes LA Weekly and The Village Voice among its portfolio). While the full terms were not disclosed to the public, the article maintains that City Pages will be run as an autonomous entity under the umbrella of Star Tribune Media Company (the Strib’s parent company) with current City Pages publisher Mary Erickson and editor Pete Kotz continuing to lead their current staff with several positions cut (including City Pages‘ blotter writer Ben Johnson).
As Star Tribune Media Company publisher and CEO Mike Klingensmith said in a statement released this morning, “We are excited to welcome City Pages to the Star Tribune Media Company and add another successful media property to our organization. And we’re happy to preserve this unique voice for alternative news and entertainment. We have tremendous respect for the loyal, passionate audience and market position that the talented City Pages staff has built through hard work over many years. We think the publication and its digital properties can capitalize on being part of a larger, local media company to create an even stronger City Pages. We look forward to collaborating with our new colleagues to create compelling ways for advertisers to reach an attractive demographic of discriminating readers and entertainment-seekers.” “We are very happy to have Star Tribune Media Company as our new owners, which we believe will allow us to expand our efforts in both print and digital channels,” said Mary Erickson, publisher of City Pages. “We think the combination creates compelling and complementary benefits to readers and advertisers—and it will be great to have local ownership once again.”
Of course, the sad news in the story is that this means that Vita.mn will cease publication, with the date of its final issue to be on Thursday, May 14, with their staff either absorbed into City Pages or reassigned as necessary. As the article mentioned, this makes City Pages the only alternative weekly newspaper in the Twin Cities market, having outlasted Vita.mn, The Rake, Metromix, the local version of The Onion, and the Twin Cities Reader among many others.
Our thought and best wishes go to the staffs of the Star Tribune, City Pages, and Vita.mn as they all work through this tricky transition.
We will have more as this story develops, but for now, here are some of the reactions to the news:
Whole lotta good, young, smart, creative people at both City Pages and Vita.mn. Can’t imagine this news is a good thing for all of them. — Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) May 6, 2015
I am the extremely sad about the loss of the vita.mn twitter account.
— Maggie LaMaack (@MaggieLaMaack) May 6, 2015
No more New Times/Village Voice Media/Voice Media Group in the Twin Cities. It really happened. — Andrea Swensson (@SlingshotAnnie) May 6, 2015
Unhappy abt the monopolization of media, happy for the deserving writers who will benefit, confused how this will all work, emotions, etc. — Alicia (@AM_Neubs) May 6, 2015
The Marvel Universe and the Twin Cities alt-weekly Universe died on the same day. Glen Taylor is a Beyonder. — Steve Marsh (@stephenhero) May 6, 2015