The much-rumored launch of a free weekly publication that eventually could replace the Las Vegas Sun was announced Thursday by Greenspun Media Group.
The Sunday will be distributed at 1,500 locations around Las Vegas starting Feb. 9.
In a statement, Greenspun Media Group Editor Brian Greenspun compared the publication to “Time or Newsweek, but entirely focused on local topics.”
Greenspun said 65,000 copies of The Sunday will be published initially. A prototype of the publication echoed the company’s Las Vegas Weekly alternative news magazine, with business news from the company’s Vegas Inc. weekly. Vegas Inc. will cease as a stand-alone product, the Greenspun Media Group said.
The new publication will have a website, thesunday.com.
Greenspun reportedly has been seeking advertising commitments for The Sunday from Southern Nevada businesses in recent months.
The announcement comes as his family is negotiating to cease publication of the daily Las Vegas Sun by ending a 24-year-old agreement governing the operation of Las Vegas’ two daily newspapers.
Stephens Media LLC, which publishes the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and three of the four Greenspun siblings, who own the Las Vegas Sun, tentatively agreed last summer to end a joint operating agreement.
In September, they signed a letter of intent, leading to negotiations to dissolve the JOA. The U.S. Department of Justice, which oversees joint operating agreements, would have to review any formal agreement reached.
According to the letter of intent, the four Greenspun siblings would each receive $70,000, and the family would retain ownership of the Sun’s website, lasvegassun.com.
Also, the Greenspuns would own the web domain name lasvegas.com, now leased by Stephens Media for $1 million to $2.5 million annually.
Stephens Media no longer would pay the Greenspuns a share of annual profits from the JOA, which in 2012 was $1.3 million, and would cease printing and delivering the Sun as a six- to 10-page Review-Journal insert.
The letter of intent does not preclude any Greenspun family member from re-entering the Las Vegas media market by publishing a print or online edition of the Sun.
In a federal lawsuit aimed at preventing the JOA’s dissolution, Brian Greenspun argued that the agreement would “put the Las Vegas Sun out of business” and create a newspaper “monopoly” in Las Vegas.
Stephens Media has countered that a majority of the Sun’s owners want to dissolve the JOA, and nothing in federal law that makes such agreements possible can force unwilling owners to operate a business they don’t want.
“We are working toward a definitive final agreement and expect to finalize it shortly,” Mark Hinueber, general counsel for Stephens Media, said Thursday. “We expect both the Department of Justice and the courts to approve the transaction.”
Contact reporter Howard Stutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter