AAN News

Ten AAN Members That Bucked the Trends and Grew in '08new

In the old days, when the media reported on problems in the newspaper industry, alternative newspapers weren't included. But alt-weeklies are immune no longer: In 2008, many AAN papers faced some of the same issues afflicting their mainstream brethren in the print media. However, you can still find alt-weeklies that had a pretty good year in 2008. That's just what AAN's editor Jon Whiten did, and he reports on 10 papers that increased revenue in a story published by Editor & Publisher.
Editor & Publisher  |  01-28-2009  1:42 pm  |  Industry News

AAN Office Closed for MLK Day and Inauguration

AAN headquarters will be closed Monday and Tuesday in observance of the Federal holidays.
AAN  |  01-19-2009  8:16 am  |  Association News

Tulsa's Daily Sues the City's Alt-Weeklynew

The Tulsa World sued AAN member Urban Tulsa Weekly and columnist Michael Bates for libel yesterday, citing what it says was Bates' false claim that the World misled advertisers about the newspaper's circulation. In a Jan. 15 column, Bates alleged that a 2006 report by the Audit Bureau of Circulation "suggests the World was inflating its circulation by as much as 20 percent." Editor and publisher Keith Skrzypczak tells AAN News that the Weekly hasn't seen the suit yet. "We understand a lawsuit was filed yesterday afternoon, but as of right now, we have not seen a copy of the complaint, and we simply cannot comment on something we haven't seen," he says. "We will be happy to comment on the suit after we have had the chance to review the allegations. In the meantime, Urban Tulsa will be taking steps to talk to the Tulsa World to try to work toward a resolution of the matter." MORE: Slate columnist Jack Shafer says the World will regret the suit.
The Tulsa World  |  01-16-2009  5:28 pm  |  Legal News

New Report Offers 206 Revenue-Boosting and Cost-Cutting Tipsnew

Kim A. Mac Leod of Regional Media Advisors and Seija Goldstein of Seija Goldstein Associates recently interviewed more than 60 regional publishers of every stripe, from alt-weeklies to business journals to city magazines, to find out what they are doing to generate revenue and reduce expenses. The results, broken down into 12 categories, are now available on the Regional Media Advisors website.
Regional Media Advisors  |  01-12-2009  11:38 am  |  Industry News

Flooding Forces The Stranger to Reprint Last Week's Issuenew

"Since it's printed in Yakima, a semi truck filled with tens of thousands of copies of The Stranger is sitting on the other side of the 10-feet-deep body of water that used to be known as I-5," editor Christopher Frizzelle wrote last Thursday. The alt-weekly reprinted the entire issue at the Seattle Times printing facility and distributed it a little late. "Enjoy this week's paper," Frizzelle wrote. "It was very expensive."
The Stranger  |  01-12-2009  11:19 am  |  Industry News

Layoffs Reported at Four Additional AAN Papers

As part of company-wide cuts at Creative Loafing, Washington City Paper and Creative Loafing (Charlotte) have each reportedly laid off two employees. In addition, Mediabistro is reporting on an unspecified number of layoffs at L.A. Weekly, and the Valley Advocate says that last week associate publisher Do-Han Allen and circulation manager Jeffrey Owczarski became "the latest casualties of a series of year-end layoffs by our parent company." A few days after his paper laid off seven, Creative Loafing (Tampa) editor David Warner dedicates his editor's note to a list of "the Top 10 Reasons Layoffs Suck."
AAN News  |  12-24-2008  9:17 am  |  Industry News

Mountain XPress Implements Cost-Cutting Measuresnew

Employees of the Asheville, N.C., alt-weekly will see an across-the-board cut in pay of between 5 and 10 percent effective Jan. 1, owner and publisher Jeff Fobes announced Friday. The paper has suffered a recent decline in classified and retail advertising, and Fobes expects the slide to continue in 2009. "Our strategy is to share the pain, so we're instituting a company-wide pay cut," he says. "Everyone feels the pain; everyone should have input into what must be an evolving response to the economy." ALSO FROM THE XPRESS: The paper recently discussed its web operations in a feature story on how local publications are dealing with online journalism.
Mountain XPress  |  12-22-2008  9:56 am  |  Industry News

Judge Allows Ben Eason to Retain Control of Creative Loafingnew

The bankruptcy court judge refused to grant a motion by lender Atalaya to give it ownership of the company yesterday, Creative Loafing (Tampa) reports. Judge Caryl E. Delano ruled that CL's reorganization plan should proceed, and that it was too early into the case to say the plan won't work. On a second part of Atalaya's takeover motion, the judge scheduled the final evidentiary hearing for Jan. 21, and a Jan. 26 hearing has been set to review CL's proposed reorganization plan.
Creative Loafing (Tampa)  |  12-19-2008  3:52 pm  |  Industry News

Creative Loafing Files Reorganization Plannew

Creative Loafing (Tampa) political editor Wayne Garcia says the plan, filed Monday in the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, makes the case for keeping the company in the hands of CEO Ben Eason. "The Debtor believes retention of existing senior management and existing publishers, editors, directors of shared services and key online personnel are vital to successful implementation of this strategy as the markets are shifting very quickly at this time," the plan reads. CL also filed a 10-year financial forecast and an analysis of how much the company would bring if it were liquidated. Read more from Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy.
Creative Loafing (Tampa) | Atlanta Magazine  |  12-17-2008  11:52 am  |  Industry News

Dilbert Pokes Fun at Surveys That Exclude Cell-Phone Usersnew

"We surveyed a thousand people who still have landline phones and no caller ID. We asked for their opinion on our new technology," reads the cartoon. "34 percent said 'Fiddlesticks,' and 23 percent couldn't hear the question. 43 percent thought we were in the room with them and offered us a hard candy."
Dilbert.com  |  12-12-2008  9:21 am  |  Industry News

Advocate Freelancer Weighs in on Tribune Bankruptcy Filingnew

"What does this mean for the Advocates? Who the fuck knows? We're so low in the Tribune food chain that we're not even mentioned in the annual reports," writes Christopher Arnott, who spent 17 years as an Advocate staffer before going full-time freelance. "The Advocate's sucked it up before and [stayed] alive in hard times. Let's hope the corporation gives it the chance to do it again."
New Haven Advocate  |  12-09-2008  9:12 am  |  Industry News

Boise Weekly Publisher Calls for Temporary Salary Cutsnew

At the paper's regular Friday meeting, Sally Freeman asked the staff to take a 10 percent cut in pay through the end of March to help ward off damage done by weak ad sales. "After the quick announcement, Freeman cried a little and then offered to meet with each of her workers individually," Weekly editor Nathaniel Hoffman reports. Freeman tells Hoffman that the paper's annual revenue is down 4 percent compared to 2007, and it came in $90,000 below budget in the last six to seven weeks.
Boise Weekly  |  12-08-2008  4:04 pm  |  Industry News

Atlanta Weekly Looks to Expand to Charlotte and Tampa by May 2009new

The Sunday Paper publisher Patrick Best announced his plans on Friday, citing the troubles of Creative Loafing -- which owns papers in Atlanta, Charlotte and Tampa -- as a major reason. "While we planned to go to both of these markets in the next few years, the troubles of the parent company of the major newsweeklies in both cities have convinced us to accelerate our plans," he says. Best, who was Creative Loafing (Atlanta)'s advertising director before launching The Sunday Paper, recently offered CL CEO Ben Eason $1 million for the Loaf's Atlanta publication. Best's expansion plans are being helped by funding from Brian Conley, the former owner of Knoxville, Tenn., AAN member Metro Pulse and current shareholder of Sunday Paper Publishing. Meanwhile, Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy reports that Eason's main creditor filed a motion (PDF) on Friday claiming CL has not been forthcoming in explaining budgets and cash flow forecasts. The CL bankruptcy protection case is scheduled to go before a judge on Wednesday.
The Sunday Paper | Atlanta Magazine  |  12-08-2008  8:09 am  |  Industry News

Boston Transit Agency is Requiring Clear News Boxesnew

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is requiring that all news boxes on its property be easy to check visually for security concerns. Boston Phoenix circulation director Jim Dorgan tells AAN News that the policy goes into effect next Friday, Dec. 12. He says that, as a result of the new regulations, the Phoenix and its related publications had to purchase more than 200 new boxes, which each cost $85 more than a regular news box. He also says the MBTA is requiring the boxes be chained, and that 12 inches of space separate each box. The Weekly Dig's Jeff Lawrence tells us that while his paper will eventually buy some clear boxes and put them in MBTA stations, for the most part, distributing outside on city streets is still cheaper and the best strategy for the Dig.
Harrumph! Blog  |  12-05-2008  12:29 pm  |  Industry News

2009 Membership Applications Now Available

The application deadline for newspapers to apply for AAN membership is Dec. 31, 2008. You can download an application here, or contact AAN to have one mailed to you. After a rigorous vetting process, the Membership Committee will issue its recommendations prior to June's convention in Tucson, where all members will have the chance to vote on the applicants. You can find links to the Membership Committee's admission guidelines and the AAN bylaws on the Membership page of our site. If you have any additional questions about membership, please call 202-289-8484 or email Debra Silvestrin at debra (at) aan.org.
AAN  |  12-04-2008  11:00 am  |  Association News