Village Voice To Split From Ad Site

Village Voice Media Holdings, the company that publishes the newspaper of the same name, is breaking up with its controversial advertising service. Backpage.com has been accused of facilitating sex trafficking, and activists have been pressuring the Village Voice to shut down its adult classifieds service.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a media divorce.

Village Voice Media Holdings, the company that publishes the newspaper of the same name, is breaking up with its controversial advertising service. Backpage.com has been accused of facilitating sex trafficking, and activists have been pressuring the Village Voice to shut down its adult classifieds service - so the company is splitting up its portfolio.

All of its alternative weekly newspapers - including the Village Voice and L.A. Weekly - will become Voice Media Group, which will be run by the current company's executives. Two majority shareholders in the old company will take over Backpage.com.

The move comes after major advertisers - like Pfizer and American Airlines fled the company's papers following campaigns by activist and by law enforcement.

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