ALTERNATIVE PUBLISHER NEW TIMES GETS INVESTOR

By: Joe Strupp

Boston Firm Gets Minority Interest





A Boston-based communications company has acquired an undisclosed minority interest in New Times Inc., according to New Times CEO Jim Larkin, who said the infusion was needed to help the company compete in the competitive alternative newspaper world.



“The whole industry has changed,” Larkin said of the deal with Alta Communications, a venture capital firm with media experience. “We are faced with well-financed competition for media properties. So we had to line up with somebody.”



In a statement, New Times said the investment will be used to “augment the company’s existing capital commitments from its banks and will ensure that the company has the resources necessary to grow and compete for larger acquisitions.”



Larkin declined to state what percentage of New Times would be controlled by Alta Communications or provide a specific dollar value of the investment. He also would not comment on the newspaper chain’s fiscal health. “We don’t disclose that,” he said. “We don’t have to and we don’t want to.”



Alta Communications officials did not return calls seeking comment.



New Times operates a chain of 11 alternative weeklies from San Francisco to Miami. Its flagship is the Phoenix New Times.





Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is an associate editor for E&P.





Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher.

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