SOURCE: Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC

Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC

January 26, 2011 09:30 ET

SF Weekly Announces Change in Publishers

Josh Fromson Will Become Publisher of Sister Publication The Village Voice; Advertising Director Gil Padia Becomes New SF Weekly Leader

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - January 26, 2011) - SF Weekly publisher Josh Fromson has been named publisher of the iconic publication The Village Voice.

Fromson will resign his job with the Weekly immediately to move to New York City.

He replaces outgoing Voice publisher Michael Cohen, who announced earlier today he was stepping down after more than 25 years in alternative media.

Taking over for Fromson in San Francisco will be Weekly advertising director and Bay Area native Gil Padia.

"As Josh takes on this new opportunity in New York, there's not a better person to step up in San Francisco than Gil Padia," said Scott Tobias, Village Voice Media Holdings President and Chief Operating Officer. "Gil knows the market, and he's already driving our business. I have complete confidence in his leadership and his ability to move the business forward."

A veteran manager, Padia has worked for both Fromson and Cohen during the eight years he's been with Village Voice Media (VVM).

Padia started in 2002 as a retail account executive at Miami New Times. After a successful stint, he was promoted to retail sales manager, and in 2005 was transferred to Cleveland Scene, where he again made his mark growing revenue and ad count.

In 2007, he was named retail sales director at the Weekly; since then, Padia has been instrumental in the publication's shift from a print-centric sales focus to a forward-looking approach covering print, digital, mobile, and event platforms.

"Gil is incredible," said Fromson. "He's done a great job of bringing our reps, our clients, and our business to the point where they are now, and he's done a lot of the heavy lifting managing the revenue side of all of our digital platforms. I know he'll continue to make SF Weekly a dominant player in such a competitive media landscape."

Like Padia, Fromson worked his way up through the sales ranks. After attending the University of Arizona in Tucson he started with VVM predecessor company New Times Media in 1999 as an account executive at Phoenix New Times. He rose fast, receiving promotions to sales director in Phoenix and then advertising director at the Riverfront Times in St. Louis, where he was named advertising director of the year in 2004.

Fromson became publisher of SF Weekly in 2005, and during his five-year tenure has overseen a nine-fold increase in the publication's digital revenue despite facing a rocky economy and a nuisance suit filed by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

The Guardian's below-cost pricing lawsuit was settled earlier this month after a recalcitrant California Supreme Court refused to bring this state's laws into line with federal antitrust precedent. But despite the cost and distraction of the legal battle, the Weekly has continued to drub the Guardian in readership and eclipse it in relevance.

The Weekly's lead is especially significant online. In December 2010, sfweekly.com had 843,212 unique visitors, and the Alexa traffic-ranking site shows the Weekly ranked 3,795 among all American websites. By comparison, the Guardian languishes at 28,264 in the Alexa rankings.

One reason for the Weekly's growth under Fromson is his addition of a line of signature community events, including the celebration of local art and artists known as Artopia, the All Shook Down music festival in North Beach, the Dish food gathering featuring cuisine from local restaurants, and an annual Web Awards gala highlighting the best Bay Area blogs and websites.

"I'm really going to miss San Francisco and all of the great people working at the Weekly, but I'm very excited to get to work in New York," said Fromson. "We've got such a strong team in place here and I'm sure they will continue to thrive under Gil's leadership."

About Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC
Village Voice Media Holdings (VVMH) is the ultimate parent of 14 weekly newspapers and daily websites, including The Village Voice in New York, LA Weekly, Denver's Westword and the Phoenix New Times referred to as the "companies." Online, in print, and on mobile devices, the companies' properties combine music, food and events coverage with gritty, hard-hitting journalism to create the most powerful city guides in each market. While the focus of the brand is local, each of the Company's free classifieds site backpage.com, partnership with social recommendation engine LikeMe.Net and national sales force, allow VVMH and the companies to extend their reach to a national level.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Corey Lewis
    LaunchSquad
    415.625.8555
    vvm (at) launchsquad (dot) com