Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the former heads of the Phoenix New Times, recently spoke against President Donald Trump’s recent pardoning of ex-Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio – a move that became official with the approval of U.S. District Court Judge, Sharon R. Bolton. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey echoed the sentiments felt by many of the citizens of Maricopa County when he referred to President Trump’s and Joe Arpaio’s collusion as “the perfect marriage of two corrupt individuals.”
Throughout his six-term reign, Joe Arpaio was directly responsible for the harassment of Latinos in the area and sub-par or nonexistent criminal investigations, as well as a number of deplorable conditions that were rampant throughout his jail, which was often referred to as “tent city,” or in his own words, “ my concentration camp.”
As the Vietnam War continued to claim the lives of U.S. soldiers, protests calling for its end continued to mount throughout the country, making the need for alternative news a growing priority amongst many of its citizens, particularly college students.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, who had already dropped out of Arizona State University, decided to join the protest in the wake of the Kent State Killings, in order to consolidate the voices of the population who had not taken to the conservative nature of traditional news media outlets.
In the fall of 1970, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, joined by a few like-minded individuals who wanted to be a part of the movement, distributed the inaugural issue of the Phoenix New Times.
After a short period, the free weekly newspaper proved to be a resounding success, gaining the support of the anti-war population in the area. As the Phoenix New Times began to grow, with Michael Lacey acting as the Executive Editor, and Jim Larkin garnering support through his staunch marketing techniques, so did the coverage. The implementation of satirical cartoons, as well as the coverage of social nuances and culture, proved to be a major addition to Phoenix New Times. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
In the early 1980’s, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey executed the acquisition of Westword – a new-and-arts weekly that catered to the alternative audience that the duo had so successfully cultivated in the Phoenix area.
Rapid expansion followed this acquisition, and eventually, the New Times became home to 17 separate but like-minded publications, stretching their reach from coast to coast in the United States.
The acquisition of the Village Voice proved to be their most successful and fruitful venture, and it eventually became the powerhouse of the alternative news community.
After four decades of running New Times, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey sold the company to several executives that had been with the company for a number of years.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey currently focus most of their energy on protecting the constitutional rights of minorities, particularly Latinos in the Phoenix area through their Frontera Fund, which was created after their court victory against Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
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