The Phoenix New Times is a free, weekly Phoenix, Arizona newspaper, put out every Thursday. It was the founding publication of New Times Media (now Village Voice Media), but The Village Voice is now the flagship publication of that company.
The paper was founded in 1970 by a group of students at Arizona State University, led by Frank Fiore, Karen Lofgren, Michael Lacey, Bruce Stasium, Nick Stupey, Gayle Pyfrom, Hal Smith, and later, Jim Larkin, as a counterculture response to the Kent State shootings in the spring of that year. Gary Brennan played a role in its creation. According to the 20th Anniversary issue of the New Times, published on May 2, 1990, Fiore suggested that the anti-war crowd put out its own paper. The first summer issues were called the Arizona Times and assembled in the staff's La Crescenta apartments across from ASU. The Arizona Times was renamed the New Times as the first college issue went to press in September 1970.
The paper covers Phoenix and Arizona news issues. It also provides reviews of local restaurants, theater, art exhibits and Hollywood motion picture releases, and provides a listing of concerts for many genres of music. It also features nationally syndicated relationship advice columnist Dan Savage. Every year, the New Times puts out a "Best of" issue, highlighting restaurants, nightclubs, shops, and other things in Phoenix.
In September 2012, Village Voice Media executives Scott Tobias, Christine Brennan and Jeff Mars bought Village Voice Media's papers and associated web properties from its founders and formed Voice Media Group.
In October 2007, Maricopa County sheriff's deputies arrested Lacey and Larkin on charges of revealing secret grand jury information concerning the investigations of the New Times's long-running feud with Maricopa County sheriffJoe Arpaio. In July 2004, the New Times published Arpaio's home address in the context of a story about his real estate dealings, which the County Attorney's office was investigating as a possible crime under Arizona state law. A special prosecutor served Village Voice Media with a subpoena ordering it to produce "all documents" related to the original real estate article, as well as "all Internet web site traffic information" to a number of articles that mentioned Arpaio. The prosecutor further ordered Village Voice Media to produce the IP addresses of all visitors to the Phoenix New Times website since January 1, 2004, as well as which websites those readers had been to prior to visiting. As an act of "civil disobedience", Lacey and Larkin published the contents of the subpoena on or about October 18, which resulted in their arrests the same day. On the following day, the county attorney dropped the case after declining to pursue charges against the two.
The special prosecutor's subpoena included a demand for the names of all people who had read the Arpaio story on the newspaper's website. It was the revealing of the subpoena information by the New Times which led to the arrests.Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas dropped the charges less than 24 hours after the two were arrested.
In the weeks following the arrests, members of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, of which the Phoenix New Times is a member, provided links on their websites to places where Arpaio's address could be found. This was done to show solidarity with the Phoenix New Times.
In December of 2013, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay Phoenix New Times founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin $3.75 million to settle their false arrest lawsuit against the county defendants.