Here's an interesting article on New Times buying out LA Weekly and OC Weekly. This explains a lot about why the Village Voice and the Twin Cities' own City Pages (both owned by the same company) have been going downhill lately. Here's my favorite quote:
The company has imposed a "fat layer of middle management," to which editors are required to report. "Our covers have to be approved by a guy in Oakland. The film reviews are assigned by somebody in Denver. Five people oversee the marketing manager. They say it's a sophisticated business system. My sense is that it's lard. People who've never edited a newspaper tell editors how to edit." Another LA Weekly employee familiar with New Times's corporate strategy said the chain runs "the most Stalinist operation imaginable," with "commissars in Phoenix" overseeing every phase of the seventeen newspapers, "from graphics to the web."
Maybe I'm getting old and jaded, but getting the new CP just doesn't excite me the way it used to. The Pioneer Press weekend section is just about as hip, covering lowbrow art, alternative craft shows, zine fests, and manga art exhibits. To be fair, CP's art coverage has always been pretty craptastic. I just hope doesn't get as bad as the New Times-owned SF Weekly, AKA "oops-I-meant-to-pick up-the-Bay-Guardian".