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Dirks, Van Essen engaged for sale of alt-paper LA Weekly

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The Voice Media Group (VMG) has engaged the Santa Fe, N.M.-based brokerage Dirks, Van Essen & Murray shop its alternative newspaper, the LA Weekly. 

In January 2015, VMG hired Dirks to "explore new strategies for its remaining publishing assets," including the sale or purchase of alternative publications and other digital businesses. Since then, VMG sold four alternative print newspapers: Riverfront Times of St. Louis; City Pages of Minneapolis; OC Weekly in Orange County, Calif.; and the Village Voice in New York City.

Dirks said, "VMG's announcement presents a special opportunity for a buyer with an appreciation for the Weekly's long history as a progressive icon in America's second-largest market." The Weekly is profitable, the sales announcement said.

VMG said it has made "targeted reductions" in its print newspaper holdings to concentrate on its digital agency V Digital Services, which has regional offices in 12 U.S. cities as well as a number of international markets.

After the sale of the Weekly, VMG will still own alternative weekly newspapers, including Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Denver Westword, the Dallas Observer and the Houston Press.

"Just as motivated buyers stepped forward in other cities, we expect to see a great level of interest in the Weekly," VMG CEO Scott Tobias said in a statement.

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