AAN News

Some Alt-Weeklies See Improvement in Second Quarter

Advertising sales at alt-weeklies varied from region to region during the first half of 2004, in large part following the path of the spotty economic recovery. Happily, the second quarter of the year was an improvement over the first, both for national sales overall and for local sales at selected alt-weeklies. Freelance writer John Ferri reports for AAN News on the state of the business. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  08-19-2004  5:27 pm  |  Industry News

Alt-Weeklies Need to Catch Up on Web Advertising, Consultants Say

Alternative newsweeklies have what it takes to attract online advertising. They're highly local. They have a young, tech-savvy readership. But the papers are still in the Dark Ages when it comes to Internet advertising, says ad sales consultant Mike Blinder (pictured), who will speak at the AAN convention in San Antonio in June. He and other experts urge the industry to follow the lead of some of the larger AAN papers and make their Web strategies more cutting-edge. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  05-13-2004  2:56 pm  |  Industry News

Alcohol Fuels Alt-Weeklies' Ad Revenues

Readers who are young (but not too young) and active attract peddlers of drink to alt-weeklies, and it shows in all the ads promoting liquor, beer and clubs. To compete with radio for those coveted ad dollars, some AAN papers cosponsor pub crawls, beer fests and jazz festivals—any event that involves good times and a bit to imbibe. Regional and national purveyors of alcohol are taking notice. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  03-25-2004  8:14 pm  |  Industry News

Former AAN Paper Tacoma Reporter Folds

The small, 24,000 circulation weekly, founded in 1996, appears to have published its final issue sometime around mid-August, reports John Ferri. The Reporter was hit hard by 9/11 and the brutal Pacific Northwest recession, which cut its annual revenue in half, according to the paper's owners. When talks to sell the weekly fell through, the undercapitalized paper couldn't hang on. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  10-21-2003  7:58 pm  |  Industry News

Southland Won't Compete Head-to-Head With LA Weekly

In an area as large as Los Angeles, there are plenty of opportunities to serve niches, says Group Publisher David Comden, who recently launched two new weeklies in the market. Southland has assembled an all-star cast of alternative journalism veterans at LA CityBEAT and ValleyBEAT, and with the company's paper in Pasadena, now circulates 140,000 papers each week in the L.A. basin. Comden says he'll offer low-price options to advertisers and an "alternative to the alternative" for LA's younger readers. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  07-01-2003  9:23 am  |  Industry News

Local Display Flat, Real Estate Classifieds Strong in Q1

AAN member papers report that once again classified advertising sales, especially real estate and rental, are keeping overall revenues steady. At the two alternative newsweekly industry national ad sales networks, AWN and Ruxton, sales are running well ahead of last year’s first quarter, but that was one of the worst quarters on record for the industry. “Normally I’d be excited about 20 percent growth,” Michele Laven, president and COO of New Times’ Ruxton Group tells AAN News. “We have a long way to go.” (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  05-20-2003  10:39 am  |  Industry News

Year Ends on Brighter Revenue Note

After a dismal 2001, alternative newsweeklies are looking at year over year gains in sales, publishers tell AAN News. National ad sales are still languishing at the two main networks and at individual papers, but local display and classifieds are taking up most of the slack. In fact, the economic pinch has made some AAN papers take stock and get tougher, John Ferri reports. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  12-18-2002  10:13 am  |  Industry News

Alt-Weeklies Cooperate on Married Priest Project

AlterNet recently posted an unprecedented collaborative project by 36 alternative newsweeklies across the country on the plight of married priests and the effect of that talent drain on the Catholic Church. Jeff von Kaenel, a past president of AAN and a member of the AlterNet board, conceived the project as a way to demonstrate the national reach of the alternative weekly industry. Don Hazen, executive director of AlterNet, says the project helps "the public understand that there is an industry out there that is independent of the traditional, corporate media; and ... that when you go from city to city, you have a newspaper that represents that." (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  08-12-2002  2:48 pm  |  Industry News

Bay Guardian Buys Its Own Building

The San Francisco Bay Guardian expects to move into its own $4.7 million building sometime this month – where they will "never have to worry about an eviction … never have to worry about a bad landlord," says Executive Editor Tim Redmond. A 1950s era law banning SBA loans to media companies was repealed in 1994. Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express took advantage of the program in 1995. Now the Bay Guardian has swung a deal for a 30,000-square-foot building with a rooftop view of the Bay Bridge thanks to an SBA loan guarantee package. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  06-05-2002  10:55 am  |  Industry News

New Publisher Named at Sacramento News & Review

Scott Hassenflu moves from the San Francisco Bay Guardian to take over the News & Review's flagship Sacramento paper. He replaces Dave Schmall, who returned to Minneapolis as associate publisher of Tom Bartel and Kris Henning's new monthly, the Rake. Meanwhile, Terry Garrett, former publisher of the Weekly Planet in Tampa, is moving to Marin County after being named sales director at Pacific Sun. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  04-01-2002  1:10 pm  |  Industry News

VVM Wants Broader Sales Reach at LA Weekly

David Schneiderman, CEO of Village Voice Media, wants to move LA Weekly/OC Weekly into "a larger media world in terms of advertising," he tells AAN News. He says asking Michael Sigman to resign as president and publisher last week was "not fun" and says the decision to cut the 20-year veteran loose was not driven by VVM investors. "My goal is to bring in as much revenue as possible so that I can keep putting money back into editorial and grow the editorial quality," he says. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  01-25-2002  10:05 am  |  Industry News

Seattle Weekly Publisher Quits

Seattle Weekly Publisher Alisa Cromer has resigned, citing disagreements with Village Voice Media management about how the paper should be run. VVM CEO David Schneiderman tells AAN News Cromer's resignation "did not have to do with any financial, budgetary, or personnel issues." The shake-up means Schneiderman will spend time out West to oversee Seattle Weekly and LA Weekly, while Group Publisher Albie Del Favero will concentrate on papers in Minneapolis, Cleveland and Nashville. (FULL STORY)
John Ferri  |  11-28-2001  10:41 am  |  Industry News