By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Porn or no porn, Eighth Avenue has become a priority at the Times. In December, the company assigned David Thurm, previously chief operating officer of Times Digital, to oversee real estate projects, including the sale of the current headquarters and the construction of the new one. But how long before the paper declares Times Square a safety zone for the First Amendment?
In the 21st century, Times Square should offer "every kind of entertainment for every demographic," says Sexton. "We shouldn't have only Shakespeare, and we shouldn't have only porn."
Has New Times bought the New York Press? If the rumor is true, everyone is playing dumb. Press publisher Michael Cohen said, "I haven't heard that and I don't think it's true." Editor in chief Russ Smith added, "It would take my signature, and I know nothing about it." New Times owner Jim Larkin did not return calls for comment.
There's no question that New Times, which publishes cookie-cutter alt-weeklies in cities around the country, has been angling for a foothold in New York. New Times and Village Voice Media are already competing in L.A. and Cleveland, and last year, New Times failed in its bid to buy VVM.
Larkin is on a rampage since selling a stake to venture capital firm Alta Communications. Last fall, he bought and closed an alt-weekly in Dallas, where he publishes the Dallas Observer. Just last week, he announced he's buying the East Bay Express, in the same market as his SF Weekly and the Bay Guardian.
Russ Smith's brother Randy once tried to sell the Press to Leonard Stern for $15 million. Wonder if Larkin will pay even ten.