AAN News

Court Hears SF Weekly's Appeal in Bay Guardian Case

The California Court of Appeal heard oral arguments Friday in the SF Weekly/San Francisco Bay Guardian predatory-pricing case. The Weekly is asking the court to throw out the multi-million damage award the jury gave the Guardian in the case. A ruling is due from the appeals court within 90 days, and both sides have reportedly said they will ask the California Supreme Court to review the case if they lose at this level. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the hearing, as did both the Guardian and the Weekly.
AAN News  |  06-14-2010  12:24 pm  |  Industry News

Metro Spirit Publisher Steps Down

Bryan Osborn has left his position as publisher of Augusta, Ga., alt-weekly Metro Spirit, AAN News has learned. Osborn had been with the paper since November 2007; a replacement has not yet been named.
AAN News  |  04-22-2010  2:06 pm  |  Industry News

Independent Weekly Helps Local Animal Protection Group Raise Money

The Weekly recently donated to its graphic design skills to the Animal Protection Society of Durham (APS) in an effort that ended up raising money for the organization. The APS let folks bid on the chance to have their pets featured in public service ads designed by Weekly production manager Nathan Golub, and the bids brought $2,200 to the group. The completed ads will be sent to all of the local print media outlets, as well as news websites.
AAN News  |  04-19-2010  12:16 pm  |  Industry News

Erin Sullivan Heads South to Take the Reins at Orlando Weekly

Sullivan, currently the managing editor of Baltimore City Paper, will take over as Orlando Weekly's editor June 1. Sullivan has been at City Paper since 2002, and currently sits on AAN's Board of Directors as chair of the Membership Committee. City Paper and the Weekly are both owned by Times-Shamrock Communications.
AAN News  |  04-16-2010  6:31 pm  |  Industry News

Diversity Grant Applications Now Available

The AAN Diversity Grant Program, which was instituted in 2001 to help papers add diversity to their newsrooms and to encourage minority journalists to start their careers at alt-weeklies, is accepting new applications. The program offers AAN papers the opportunity to apply for a grant for a diversity-related project or for an intern. The Diversity Committee will award up to four grants of $1,250 each per year; the deadline for applications is April 23. Recent awardee Boise Weekly tells AAN News that the "global culture blog" for the local refugee community it launched with the grant money "would have never happened" without the Diversity Grant. Now that the blog has become a success, the Weekly will keep it going with its own funding. (For all the details, download an application here.) (FULL STORY)
AAN News  |  03-24-2010  6:15 pm  |  Association News

Long Island Press Turns Cover Story into Standalone Multimedia Site

The Press recently developed a multimedia site to accompany a cover story on Long Island's Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center and its holocaust survivors as part of its attempt to find new ways to present its journalism. Publisher Jed Morey tells AAN News it is all tied into the company's recent expansion of video journalism, which includes hiring a full-time video journalist. "It has really energized the staff and brought a whole new perspective to our reporting, because his pitches are so unique," Morey says. "Part of our growth this year is online and we're making original video a huge part of that initiative."
AAN News  |  02-25-2010  11:22 am  |  Industry News

Erik Wemple Says His New Job is 'an Enormous Opportunity'

After announcing yesterday that he was leaving Washington City Paper to edit a new local news website being launched by Allbritton Communications (the folks behind Politico), Wemple and Allbritton's Jim Brady made the media rounds to talk about the move. Here are some highlights:
  • Wemple tells Politico he's excited about the potential of the new site: "I think the possibilities, the horizons, really open up if you look at the talent and the resources that are behind this."
  • The site will try to incorporate work from Politico and Allbritton's two local TV operations, Wemple tells the Washington Post: "We're hoping to really carve some new ground as to how a TV and web operation can mutually reinforce themselves."
  • Brady explains to Washington Business Journal why he hired Wemple: "When you read the City Paper, you get a sense they're really having fun. That's not happening in a ton of places in journalism these days."
  • Wemple says he hopes to launch the site with between 15 and 20 reporters; DCist wonders if any will be current City Paper staffers.
AAN News  |  02-24-2010  9:56 am  |  Industry News

Georgia Straight Puts All Hands on Deck for Olympics

As the 2010 Winter Olympics enter their final week, Vancouver's alt-weekly continues to work round-the-clock to cover both the games themselves, as well as all the cultural and entertainment happenings coinciding with the international competition. Straight editor Charlie Smith tells AAN News that they opted not to produce any special print editions, and have had to actually tweak their print distribution strategies in light of the influx of people and numerous street closings. Online, though, he says the Straight has been going all out, with nearly all of the editorial staff covering some aspect of the games, including stories that have been picked up in Europe. The paper's running all Olympic coverage through a main Olympic portal, and it is also running a dedicated Olympics blog and featuring numerous Olympic photo galleries. Smith says the comprehensive coverage has translated to a "huge spike" in web traffic. "In the first week, traffic was up more than 100 percent," he says.
AAN News  |  02-22-2010  2:27 pm  |  Industry News

Cityview Editor/Publisher Takes Heat for Saying Newspapers Have Become 'More Feminine'

"Newspapers, especially corporate-owned dailies, have become more feminine, and that is quite obvious in the pages of the local Gannett daily," Shane Goodman wrote in his Cityview editor's note last week. "As reporters spend more time writing about the hot colors of throw pillows and less time investigating crime at city hall, it creates opportunities for papers like this one." His comments have drawn a rebuke from the Des Moines Register's Rekha Basu, who says that "the lack of logic, research or intellectual honesty" in Goodman's note "are appalling." She adds: "But even more so are the sexist stereotypes that pour off a few short paragraphs of the city's so-called alternative paper."
AAN News  |  02-16-2010  1:22 pm  |  Industry News

Bay Guardian/SF Weekly Case Moves Along

The San Francisco Bay Guardian last week filed its response to SF Weekly's appeal of the 2008 jury award in the Guardian's predatory-pricing lawsuit against the Weekly. The Weekly says it will file one more reply with the court within the next month or so, at which point the Court of Appeals will either set a date for oral arguments or issue a ruling based on what has been submitted by the two parties. In related news, the Guardian reports that a federal judge last week rejected the attempts of Weekly parent company Village Voice Media Holdings to avoid a state court proceeding where it may be added to the judgment against the Weekly.
AAN News  |  01-27-2010  11:56 am  |  Industry News

Gannett Quietly Closes Distribution Network in Jackson

A few years ago, threatened by media giant Gannett's attempt to control local print distribution via The Distribution Network (TDN), the Jackson Free Press and other local publishers banded together to form the Mississippi Independent Publishers' Alliance (MIPA). MIPA then began a process of buying, placing and managing its own system of multi-publication news boxes around the city. Now it looks like MIPA's efforts paid off. JFP publisher Todd Stauffer tells AAN News that the Gannett-owned Jackson Clarion-Ledger has quietly picked up all their TDN boxes and apparently closed out their program. "I'm not sure if this is a trend company-wide for Gannett, but it looks like the 'control-free-distribution' chapter is no longer in the Gannett playbook for Jackson," he says. (FULL STORY)
AAN News  |  12-10-2009  3:02 pm  |  Industry News

Santa Barbara Independent Staffer Helps Launch Music Festival

The Independent's senior editor Matt Kettmann is a co-founder of New Noise Santa Barbara, a music conference and festival that debuted Oct. 8-10 at venues throughout downtown Santa Barbara. "We're telling locals that it's like the wildly popular Santa Barbara International Film Fest, but with music," says Kettmann, the paper's former pop culture editor who more recently directed the editorial development of Independent.com. "And we're telling everyone else that it's like South By Southwest, but much smaller and on the coast." The Independent served as an official media sponsor and published the conference's program guide.
AAN News  |  10-16-2009  10:25 am  |  Industry News

East Bay Express Launches Small Biz Publication

The Express' Small Business Monthly will launch in February 2010 and "will focus on local reporting of small business issues in our region," according to an email sent out by publisher Jody Colley. "In a broader purpose," she continues, "it will also serve to inform community members, investors, entrepreneurs and policy leaders on how integral our 'Main Street' independent businesses are to a healthy and sustainable local economy." The publication will be distributed as an insert in the Express each month. (FULL STORY)
AAN News  |  10-02-2009  1:06 pm  |  Industry News

Eugene Weekly Looks for 'Next Big Thing'

Lots of bands think they're just on the verge of busting out of their local bar-band circuit, quitting their day jobs and becoming the next big thing. In Oregon, the Eugene Weekly is hoping to help one lucky band do just that with its own music contest. (FULL STORY)
AAN News  |  09-29-2009  2:07 pm  |  Industry News

Robert Newman Design Showcases Years of Village Voice Covers

In a three-part Facebook photo album series, Robert Newman Design has posted a whole bunch of Voice covers and inside design pieces dating back to when Newman himself was at the paper in the early 90s. In addition to Newman, the photosets also feature design work from Florian Bachleda, Jennifer Gilman, Ted Keller and IvyLise Simones, as well as illustration work from a number of artists. Check them out here, here and here.
AAN News  |  09-17-2009  11:47 am  |  Industry News