Editor Jon Whiten is leaving the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies; he will be replaced by current Editorial Awards and Advertising Director Jason Zaragoza.
Whiten, who joined AAN in January 2006, is stepping down to focus on the local news website and arts & culture magazine he owns and operates in Jersey City, N.J. His last day on staff is March 31, but he will continue as a part-time contractor, overseeing AAN.org, for a month or two, as Zaragoza transitions from his current position into the editor role.
“I have greatly enjoyed my time here at AAN, and it is with a bit of a heavy heart that I’m leaving,” Whiten says. “The people I’ve met and the knowledge I’ve gained here have given me an inordinate amount of knowledge about local publishing, and now I hope to use what I’ve learned to help take my own business to the next level.”
Zaragoza joined AAN in October 2008 and has run the AAN CAN ad network and the AltWeekly Awards contest since then. He says he is excited to take on the editor role.
“I’ve always been drawn to the editorial side, so the decision to take on this new role was a no-brainer for me,” Zaragoza says. “Jon’s done an amazing job on our two websites and he’s shown us that AltWeeklies.com can be more than just a story-sharing site for members, but also a destination site for all of the high-quality work that our members churn out every week. I’m fortunate to inherit his groundwork, and I’m really excited to get in there and continue to push AAN’s brand on the web.”
The search for a new Advertising Coordinator will begin immediately.
“Jon has been an important part of AAN, and we will miss him,” AAN Board President Mark Zusman says. “Thankfully, we’ve got Jason to step into the role.”