Village Voice Media Sells Ace Weekly

Small Kentucky paper sold to paper's editor/publisher.

Village Voice Media (VVM) bucked the consolidation trend Wednesday by selling its smallest publication, Ace Weekly, to the paper’s editor and publisher.

Rhonda Reeves said she became interested in acquiring the 20,000-circulation Lexington, Ky., paper last fall when her role as the weekly’s editor was expanded to include the position of publisher. She quickly found the experience of working on business issues as compelling as editing.

“A career in journalism to me has proven to be the next-best-thing to being a full-time student — which is probably the career I’d choose, if I had endless reserves of time and money,” Reeves stated in a press release announcing the sale. “As a writer and editor and publisher, this job is a never-ending education. … Ace isn’t just what I do, it’s who I am.”

Reeves began working for Ace in the early 90s as a freelance writer.

Surrounded by congratulatory flowers and balloons from her staff, Reeves talked enthusiastically Thursday morning about recent advances made by VVM, such as moving to weekly distribution, purchasing outdoor racks, creating a classified department and moving the office to a larger space.

VVM Executive Vice President Albie Del Favero described the transaction as a strategic sale that will allow the company to focus on larger markets. VVM bought Ace last year from former owner and publisher Susan Saylor Yeary, who left the paper to spend more time with her son.

“Our strategy is [focused on] major markets,” Del Favero said Thursday. “It didn’t make economic sense for us to be running a half-million dollar paper when we have a $100 million company.”

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

In addition to the The Village Voice, VVM owns newsweeklies in Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Nashville, Cleveland and Orange County, Calif. The combined weekly circulation of the papers is over 900,000.

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