Rick Mundy has joined the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies as director of sales and marketing. Mundy is taking over for Roxanne Cooper, who left in February to become associate publisher at Philadelphia City Paper. His first day on staff was March 4.
Mundy has a more than a decade of experience in newspapers — in sales, marketing, and publishing at community newspapers, and also as federation manager at the Newspaper Association of America. His immediate focus will be on revitalizing the AAN CAN classified program.
Since 2002, Mundy has been working in the insurance industry, both in Michigan and in Virginia. “I have always loved this industry,” he says when asked why he’s returning to the newspaper world. “Although I have made career changes along the way, I keep coming back to newspapers. I think it must be because newspaper people are more in touch with the world than your average person.”
“Rick is smart and has exactly the kind of experience we were looking for in this position,” says AAN executive director Richard Karpel. “We are lucky to have found him.
Mundy says his relationship with alt-weeklies started more than 30 years ago, reading the Boston Phoenix while working in Beantown. “The alternatives have always offered news and views that challenge one’s thinking and they present a fresh perspective on major issues,” he says. “I am incredibly excited to be a part of this team.”
When asked about the challenges the industry is facing, he was quick to point out that most papers probably have a better idea of the challenges than he, but offered his take. “Trend Analyst Faith Popcorn says we’re living ’99 Lives.’ Everyone is so busy with work, home, family that we all take on multiple roles in a given day,” he says. “This forces us to choose where to focus and where to cut back. Whether we’re talking print or online products we’re competing with everyone who seeks to gain our readers’ attention.”
He thinks that alt-weeklies can continue to thrive in this hectic environment. “Nobody else does what we do,” he says. “When you combine our ability to do in-depth reporting and strong analysis, to provide the wealth of local information that is gathered and edited for the reader, to deliver the messages that our advertisers need to place before the consumer, we stand alone.”