New York, January 31, 2013 - Straus News and Isis Venture Partners jointly announced today that Straus had purchased the Manhattan Newspaper Group from Isis. The deal includes some of New York's longest standing publications. Titles going to Straus include Our Town, The West Side Spirit, The Chelsea-Clinton News, Our Town Downtown, The Westsider and www.NYPress.com.
The deal puts the papers into the hands of an experienced community newspaper publisher whose owners also have deep New York City roots. The Straus 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 achieved the #1 most listened to New York City ranking. Later, the 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.
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 they are selling in 2001.
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," said Allon. "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."
"We've been pleased and proud owners of the newspapers for more than a decade", said Richard Burns, general partner of Isis and chairman of Manhattan Media. "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."
"We're absolutely committed to community journalism and covering the issues that matter to people's everyday lives", said Jeanne Straus, a West Side resident and Publisher of Straus News. "We relish the opportunity to take over publishing these terrific papers in the greatest city in the world."
The papers that Straus is buying from Isis have an impressive history and market presence: the Chelsea-Clinton News, for example, is the oldest continuously published weekly in the city. With weekly free distribution to more than 3,000 upscale Manhattan apartment buildings, news boxes and in-store racks, the papers reach more than 180,000 unique weekly print and digital readers.
Isis Venture Partners is a New York-based private equity firm which invests primarily in small to medium sized media and service companies across the Americas. It also provides strategic advice to buyers and sellers of private companies through its subsidiary, Isis Advisory Partners.
Prior to acquiring these five publications, Straus News has been publishing nine local weekly newspapers and associated websites in the Tri-State 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.
Photo by Aaron Adler/Manhattan Media
Jeanne Straus, president of Straus News, looks over issues of her company's newly acquired New York City weeklies with William Pecover, Tom Allon and Richard Burns of Manhattan Media.