February 1, 2006
For Immediate Release
The nation’s leading alternative newspapers have merged their national sales forces in a restructuring that creates unprecedented opportunities for advertisers seeking to reach young, socially active urbanites who increasingly tune out mainstream media.
Village Voice Media president and chief operating officer Scott Tobias described the move as the first step in the just-completed merger of the Village Voice, owner of six alternative weeklies, with New Times Media, which had owned the Ruxton Media Group along with eleven of its own alternative papers.
As a result of the merger, Ruxton’s sales force will join with the national sales staff for the Voice papers, which include the flagship Village Voice in New York City and L.A. Weekly in Los Angeles. The combined entity, to be called Ruxton Media Group, effectively doubles Ruxton’s sales force to eight salespersons and six support staff. The agency now represents a network of 37 publications from coast to coast, including each of the nation’s Top Five media markets and nine of the Top Ten U.S. media markets.
Tobias also announced two significant promotions that will create a leadership team for the new Ruxton entity. Susan Belair has been named senior vice president of sales and Joe Larkin has been named senior vice president of sales operations.
Belair has been with New Times since 1995. Under the new arrangement, she will be responsible for expanding the national sales efforts of Ruxton’s regional offices and developing strategic sales concepts using multimedia platforms.
Larkin joined Phoenix New Times in 1984. He worked for ten years in local sales and management at the Phoenix paper and was promoted to advertising director in 1994. In 1999 he moved to Ruxton as national advertising director. He will now work in partnership with Belair to craft Ruxton’s national sales strategies.
Combined circulation for the Ruxton publications will be 3.1 million papers and more than 7.3 million readers per week. A key focus of the expanded platform will be digital and Web-based sales. Each of the Ruxton publications have comprehensive and searchable local entertainment information on their Web sites, and a growing number also have the capability to engage readers with hourly news, music, calendar and arts updates.
At a time when many progressive readers are turning away from daily papers and broadcast media, the Ruxton Media Group’s national reach coupled with the strong Web presence and aggressively local stance of the 37 newspapers will offer national and regional advertisers even more customized marketing opportunities and partnerships.
For more information, contact Joe Larkin at 602-271-0040 or visit www.ruxton.com.