AAN News

Cincinnati CityBeat Files Federal Suit Against Coalition Groupnew

CityBeat has filed a federal lawsuit against a number of local government officials and a coalition of local religious and nonprofit leaders led by Citizens for Community Values (CCV) who last month publicly asked the paper to stop publishing adult-oriented classified ads. The suit charges the coalition with violating the paper's First Amendment rights, conspiracy to violate its First Amendment rights and tortious interference with its business relationships. "When government officials use their position of authority to threaten a media organization with implied legal action unless a certain demand is met, that's wrong. And when CCV, ministers and nonprofit leaders conspire with government officials to threaten the media, they're wrong, too," writes CityBeat co-publisher and editor John Fox. "We've decided the only way to prevent permanent damage to our business is to ask a federal judge to intercede on our behalf and protect our right to exist."
Cincinnati CityBeat  |  07-09-2008  11:36 am  |  Industry News

Faced With 'Pretty Flat' Ad Revenue, Isthmus Considers Possible Layoffsnew

The Madison, Wis., alt-weekly is "looking at ways to reduce expenses like everybody has to," publisher Vince O'Hern tells the Capital Times. "Nothing is decided. It may involve some people taking leaves, and some people not being on staff anymore." News editor Bill Lueders says A&E editor Dean Robbins will take an unpaid six-month leave to tend to "personal projects and other work." Other than that, he says talk of any staff changes is premature. Isthmus employs 10 editorial staffers, and the total staff size is about three dozen, according to Lueders.
The Capital Times  |  07-09-2008  8:22 am  |  Industry News

More on the Free Times/Scene Mergernew

"The idea, of course, is that with no competition to siphon off advertisers or keep ad prices rock-bottom, one alt-weekly might accomplish what the Free Times and Scene couldn't: make enough money to survive," Scene managing editor Joe Tone says of the recently announced merger. "And it's hard to bemoan the consolidation. Had they not become one, the two papers would have eventually become none." However, Tone notes that, for now, Cleveland "will lose some journalists." In addition to former editor Pete Kotz, who has already left for Nashville, Tone says staff writer Lisa Rab and food critic Elaine Cicora have departed. Frank Lewis, who last week was named the new paper's editor, reports on the Free Times blog that the other managers have been named. Sean Misutka and Joe Strailey have been plucked from the Scene to be ad sales manager and classified sales manager, respectively. And three additional Free Times managers have found homes at the new paper: Steve Antol is the circulation manager; Tim Divis is the business manager, and Steve Miluch is the production manager.
Scene | Cleveland Free Times  |  07-07-2008  11:39 am  |  Industry News

AAN Classified Advertising Network Introduces Changes

There have been number of recent changes to the AAN CAN program, all of which are now in effect. They include:
  • New multi-week discounts and regional rates
  • A new monthly AAN CAN e-newsletter
  • A new media kit
  • A new insertion order
For more on the AAN CAN changes, read the full story. For questions, information or sales assistance on AAN CAN, contact sales and marketing director Rick Mundy at 202 289-8484 or rmundy (at) aan.org (FULL STORY)
AAN  |  06-25-2008  1:13 pm  |  Association News

Wrapping Up the 31st Annual AAN Convention

A total of 400 people descended on the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown two weeks ago for the 2008 AAN Convention. The three-day event featured the usual mix of presentations and panels, food and booze, and business talk and gossip between alt-weekly staffers and industry types from across North America. AAN committees and staff mostly took care of the first item, while host paper Philadelphia City Paper had the second one covered, and attendees proved themselves more than capable of handling the third on their own. (FULL STORY)
AAN  |  06-19-2008  1:01 pm  |  Association News

City Pulse Publisher Says 'Thank You'

Berl Schwartz thanks the AAN membership for admitting City Pulse on Saturday in a letter to the editor. "This was our fourth time to apply, and I am sure the membership committee was tired of looking at us, so allow me to thank you on behalf of its members as well," he writes. He also says he's printing a banner to hang in the paper's office that quotes from a membership committee report on City Pulse: "It's still not perfect." (FULL STORY)
AAN  |  06-12-2008  8:18 am  |  Letters to the Editor

Study: Web Will Be Second-Largest Ad Medium in Five Yearsnew

Web advertising "will continue to grow fast even as the current economic woes will lead to a contraction in ad spending overall, essentially accelerating the transfer of marketing budgets from the traditional media into the new," according to a new study by research group IDC. The group finds that overall internet advertising revenue will double from $25.5 billion in 2007 to $51.1 billion in 2012, making it the second-largest advertising medium, behind only direct mail. IDC predicts that video will be the fastest growing format for web advertising, but search will continue to be the format generating the most revenue.
IDC  |  06-12-2008  7:35 am  |  Industry News

Correction: Membership Committee Recommendations Included an Error

There was a significant error in the 2008 Membership Committee Recommendations posted to AAN.org last week. The Membership Committee did not recommend that the membership of Metro Pulse of Knoxville, Tenn., be affirmed. Metro Pulse was acquired by E.W. Scripps, a media company that owns the daily newspaper, business newspaper, Knoxville Magazine, and other publications in the Knoxville market. Per the AAN bylaws, ownership of member papers must reflect and advance the following values of the association:
  • Competitive editorial and business environment, especially within local markets
  • A multiplicity and diversity of media voices
  • Independence from media conglomerates or other entities deemed detrimental to the interest of the alternative press and the maintenance of media diversity.

The committee feels that Metro Pulse's new ownership situation is not in line with the bylaws and therefore does not recommend the paper for affirmation, and the committee's report has been amended as such.
AAN  |  06-05-2008  3:39 pm  |  Association News  |  Comments (1)

Alt-Weekly Editors Talk About the State of the Industrynew

In this week's editor's note welcoming AAN folks to this year's Convention, Philadelphia Weekly editor Tim Whitaker looks at what's sure to be a much-discussed topic this weekend: the state of the alt-weekly business. "In the alt world, editorial staffs are small and getting smaller," he writes. "Not only must a winning online blueprint be conceived and executed with shrinking resources, but great attention must be paid to what is still, for the moment, the nest egg -- the weekly newspaper." He talks to alt-weekly editors from around the country, many of whom have recently seen their editorial staffs drastically cut -- some in half. But even though many staffs are being asked to do more with even less, the editors Whitaker talks to aren't all pessimistic about the future of the industry, and many of them have specific prescriptions. And as professional journalists, we're reminded, the situation could be far worse: We could be in the daily newspaper industry. "We write for intelligent readers," says Village Voice editor Tony Ortega. "Dailies cater to people who don't like to read. Look at the way they're written."
Philadelphia Weekly  |  06-04-2008  9:08 am  |  Industry News

AAN Launches 2008 Convention Community Blog

The convention's still a week away, but today AAN is unveiling this year's community blog, Philadelphia2008.aan.org. This marks the second year AAN is running a community blog for the convention. We'll be using the blog to share updates on the convention as well as recommend places to go in Philly, but the blog is also yours, and we welcome anyone attending the convention to join us and blog -- click here to register.
AAN  |  05-29-2008  4:06 pm  |  Association News

Membership Committee Recommends Two Papers for Admission to AAN

This year the committee recommends two of the 12 applying papers for admission to the association: City Pulse from Lansing, Mich., and Hawaii Island Journal from Hilo, Hawaii. The committee also recommends that the five papers that have changed ownership recently be re-affirmed as members of the organization. Those papers are: Metro Pulse, The Other Paper, Cityview, East Bay Express, and Boston's Weekly Dig. The committee's complete report is available in the Resource Library, along with a document featuring ownership reports on each of the applying papers and the papers up for review. The reports will also be available in printed form during this year's Convention in Philadelphia. Each AAN member paper can vote for or against the acceptance of an applying paper at the association's annual meeting, which will be held on the last day of the Convention, Saturday, June 7. (FULL STORY)
Erin Sullivan  |  05-29-2008  9:34 am  |  Association News