Family-owned media company returns to its NYC roots
Straus News, a leading community news publisher and owner of weeklies in the tri-state region, today acquired Manhattan’s premiere weekly newspapers.
The weeklies include one of New York City’s best-known papers, Our Town, along with its sister publications Our Town Downtown, The West Side Spirit, The Chelsea Clinton News and The Westsider, as well as NYPress.com.
These papers reach more than 180,000 unique weekly print and digital readers through free distribution to more than 3,000 upscale Manhattan apartment buildings, news boxes and in-store racks.
The purchase also puts the papers into the hands of a successful publisher owned by a family with longtime roots in New York City.
With the acquisition, the Straus family re-enters the New York City media market. The family made radio history when it owned WMCA Radio, 570 AM. Playing rock n roll in the 1960s, and known to Baby Boomers as the “Home of the Good Guys,” Straus-owned WMCA ranked #1 as the most listened to New York City radio station.
Later, the Straus family transformed WMCA Radio into New York’s premiere talk radio station, with well-known hosts such as Barry Gray, who also wrote regularly for Our Town.
“We’re committed to local news and covering the issues that matter to people’s everyday lives,” said Straus News Publisher Jeanne Straus, who lives in West Side Spirit territory. “We relish the opportunity to take over publishing these terrific papers in the greatest city in the world.”
Tom Allon, the long-time publisher/editor of the Manhattan Newspaper Group, will remain as president and CEO of Manhattan Media.
“I’m very happy that we have found in Straus News a buyer who understands community journalism, the neighborhoods of Manhattan and recognizes the need to keep these five newspapers vibrant parts of our city,” Allon said. “After more than a quarter century of being involved with West Side Spirit and Our Town, I look forward to being a regular reader of these award-winning publications.”
Richard Burns, general partner of Isis and chairman of Manhattan Media, added: “We’ve been pleased and proud owners of the newspapers for more than a decade. They’ve not only played important roles in their communities but have also produced consistent financial returns for us. We know that Straus News has the know-how and commitment to make these papers a continuing vital part of the New York landscape.”
Following today’s sale, Isis continues to own and produce media properties like New York Family, the New York Baby Show, City & State (for professionals in city and state government in New York), as well as AVENUE magazine and Dan’s Papers LLC in the Hamptons.
Isis bought the newspapers it is selling in 2001.
About Straus News
Prior to acquiring these five publications, Straus News has been publishing nine local weekly newspapers and associated Web sites in the New York-New Jersey- Pennsylvania region.
Straus News also publishes Dirt, a magazine covering the local “green scene.”
Owned for decades by the Straus family, the papers focus on neighborhood issues that matter to people’s everyday lives, with a commitment to reporting the tough local stories while highlighting neighborhood successes and achievements.
The newspapers have won numerous awards for news coverage and editorial and advertising excellence, including first place for in-depth reporting for a series about heroin addiction and a prestigious National Education Writers Award.
The newspapers are distributed weekly to more than 80,000 homes.
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