Michael Lacey went to Arizona State University after graduating from high school. In 1970 he dropped out of college and joined together with a few other college friends to launch the Phoenix New TImes. The publication focused on serving as an alternative to the then conservative coverage of various campus antiwar protest.
Lacey and friends were not satisfied with the conservative media. So Lacey published his personal response and this set him off on the road that eventually led to garnering more and more experience as he began a career. Lacey joined forces with Jim Larkin and they started looking into a number of different social issues and political subjects in the free weekly publication.
This news source soon gained a major following. Soon the Phoenix New Times became one of the most read alternative newspapers in the country. The years were kind and Lacey and company met with success.
Michael Lacey decided to expand his company by purchasing Westword. He would continue to acquire other publications until he had a total of 17 newspapers focused on promoting similar messages and angles on stories that were not otherwise covered. Naturally, Lacey and his partner Larkin also faced many challenges over those years as well but they worked through them all.
Years later this newspaper empire would grow to become Village Voice Media Holdings. Village Voice Media Holdings garnered a reputation of being truly committed to the First Amendment. Lacey and Larkin strove to protect it as well.
Typically the staff would cover various current events. They favored publishing long term investigation articles using a catered, more sophisticated approach. Their magazine style of formatting would help them grow a faithful following of more than 60 million readers over the years.
Despite being a college dropout, Michael Lacey was able to work to build a veritable media empire that got the attention of millions of monthly readers. Lacey would eventually sell his media empire. During his career, he worked to change not only how newspapers worked but also how they communicated with their readers. Considered by some to be a type of hero. he changed media in the U.S.