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Village Voice and Backpage.com are split
One of the new owners of the Village Voice said his firm had no interest in purchasing the Voice’s online classified ad company Backpage.com.
“Backpage.com has been a distraction, there is no question. It’s just not about what we do,” said Scott Tobias, who is slated to take the chief executive officer position at Voice Media Group, which is taking control of the Village Voice and 12 other alternative newspapers.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Village Voice Media Holdings LLC, is keeping Backpage.com, a controversial classified ad service that includes advertisements for adult entertainment that have provoked accusations that the company promotes child sex trafficking.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Village Voice has lost 40 percent of its circulation since 2006, when it was bought by Village Voice Media Holdings, which is controlled by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
The company’s attorney says it is in a good position to help law enforcement deal with child sex crimes.
“The commercial sexual exploitation of children is an abhorrence in our society. It is an appalling street crime and it is appalling as an Internet crime. It is also an extremely complex problem and it must be fought intelligently,” said the company’s general attorney Elizabeth McDougall.
“Backpage is at the forefront of fighting it intelligently online with approximately 80 percent of its staff dedicated to operating a 24/7 triple-tier prevention system … and an unparalleled law enforcement support system,” she said.
Backpage has 79 percent of the market share of online adult service classified ads and takes in $2.3 million in revenue each month, Advanced Interactive Media Group says.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International