Maui Time Weekly Publisher: Alt-Weeklies 'Haven't Innovated' Online

june 24, 2009  10:36 am
In an episode of the web TV show "This Week in Startups," Tommy Russo calls in via Skype to chat with host Jason McCabe Calacanis about new media and old (his bit starts about 5 minutes into the show). "Alt-weeklies were the innovative product to the daily newspaper 40 years ago," Russo says. "What's happened is that these papers haven't innovated; they haven't changed." He says that alt-weeklies, like the rest of the newspaper industry, have been barking up the wrong 'net tree. "'How do we get our papers online?' [is] not the right question. The question is: 'How do we dominate our market with news media through this new tool?'" Russo goes on to talk about how alts are well-positioned to become more robust multimedia outlets. "The advantage a weekly paper has is that we are on the streets," he says. "A lot of these online search companies are trying to get into the trenches with us -- but we're already there, we just don't realize it."