New York-based Avalon Equity Partners is now the majority owner of both the New York Press and Window Media, which operates a number of gay weeklies, including the New York Blade News and the Washington Blade. Cynthia Cotts of The Village Voice writes that the gay media worries about Avalon's ownership, fearing a private equity company with no gay credentials will undermine the integrity of their product. David W. Unger, co-founder and managing partner of Avalon, insists that neither the Press nor the gay publications will lose their identities simply by being connected through a mutual investor. Unger says the Press should make money "with just a little hands-on management."
Russ Martineau, who was let go last week by City of Roses Newspapers, announces today the formation of a new sales and marketing consulting company, Ad Director.com. Martineau had managed the revenue departments for Willamette Week for the past 10 years. He resigned his position as president of the AAN board last week and is replaced by Bill Towler, publisher of City Newspaper in Rochester, N.Y.
Michael Sigman, president and publisher of LA Weekly/OC Weekly, has been asked to leave by Village Voice Media. His last day is Jan. 25. In other developments, three other AAN member papers have asked top managers to leave, including Eugene Weekly, Willamette Week and C-Ville Weekly.
Keith Kelly reports in today's New York Post that Russ Smith discussed selling his paper to Taki Theodoracopulos, one of its well-heeled columnists, for $5 million. (In a letter to Jim Romanesko's Media News, Smith said Kelly's story is "wrong.")
New York Press loses its Web site after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Publisher Russ Smith also was evacuated from his apartment a few blocks from the site of the terrorist attacks.
Less than 18 months after acquiring Boise Weekly and shepherding the paper through a significant redesign, City of Roses Newspaper Co. announced early this week that the nine-year-old publication is once again on the trading block.