They have almost completed the reorganization process. The final details are not public but there is a rumor that 24 Hour Fitness is buying 56% of them, which would give them controlling interest.
I have noticed that many of the clubs are being removeled while they are going through this process and they are changing their primary colors. I have also seen the removal of the Bally's logo in certain parts of the club.
As for what type of membership, if you plan on staying a long time, it is better to get the one that you finance the membership that offers low annual dues after you pay off the intial fee over the first few years.
The advertised specials are often times not the best way to go because they sometimes do not allow you to go to all of the clubs and the special is limited for a short term and then you end up paying more in the end. It is better to look at all of your options of the various plans available. So I guess it would depend on what is more imporant to you as well: short term savings or long term savings.