Google executives say that a pilot program in which small businesses bid for last-minute ad space in newspapers has "exceeded expectations," reports the Washington Post. The new-old media partnership, which began this October and includes major dailies such as the New York Times, sets a template that the search-engine giant hopes to duplicate with magazine, radio and even television advertising. Industry executives tell the Post they have modest expectations for the program, hoping to introduce small advertisers to the concept of newspaper advertising.

Continue ReadingGoogle Set To Expand Newspaper Ad Program

The contest Web site opened for business on Friday, signaling the beginning of the competition in the twelfth annual awards contest. Four new categories have been added this year, three of which pertain to the Web. Other changes: The circulation cut-off between small and big papers has risen to 60,000, and entry fees have increased by $10, bringing them back to the level they were at earlier this decade. The deadline for entries is Friday, Feb. 2, 2007.

Continue ReadingCall for Entries: The 2007 AltWeekly Awards Contest

Online advertising rates continue their northward march with few signs of letting up anytime soon, reports the New York Times. With online advertising revenues expected to grow by 31 percent to $16.4 billion this year, rates for the front pages of some popular MSN sections rose tenfold in the last two years, according to an MSN executive. But one Internet retailer compares the heated market to the dot-com era. "In 1999 it was a rush of venture money that did it. Today you've got a rush of corporate money," says Mark Vadon, of Blue

Continue ReadingRising Online Ad Prices Also Raising Eyebrows

Von Buchau, a veteran arts critic who wrote for the AAN member Pacific Sun for almost four decades, was 67-years-old when she passed away, report the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle. The cause is believed to be complications from diabetes. Von Buchau won three AltWeekly Awards for arts criticism, including a first-place prize in 1999. "She was a brilliant woman, talented, irascible, and witty," former Pacific Sun managing editor Linda Xiques tells the Examiner.

Continue ReadingStephanie von Buchau, Award Winning Art Critic, Found Dead

Norman Pearlstine (pictured) last week sought federal documents relating to subpoenas of reporters in three recent cases of reporter-source privilege, reports the Wall Street Journal. The cases -- ranging from stories on Barry Bonds' alleged steroid use to terrorist financing -- illustrate growing tensions between news organizations, the White House, and Congress over the extent of the First Amendment rights of journalists to protect confidential sources. "I believe that the framers of the Constitution put a free and independent press in the First Amendment to protect the public's right to know, and the only way you do that is protect reporters' ability to keep certain sources confidential," says Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, a Republican critic of the White House on the issue. Pence will cosponsor legislation in the 110th Congress to protect journalists against government harassment over sources.

Continue ReadingFormer Top Time Inc. Editor Files FOIA Request With Justice Dept.

Americans Aran and Margot Lee Shetterly will publish the third edition of their new English-language monthly, Inside Mexico, in January. Targeting both the large English-speaking expat population and tourists, the 20,000 circulation paper "has the look of an American alternative weekly but on higher quality newsprint to give it a magazine feel," reports Editor & Publisher. The paper is published and primarily circulated in Mexico City, but additional copies are distributed in Cancun, Merida, and Acapulco. "We look at this project as a way to build a bridge between English-speakers in Mexico and this country itself," says Aran Shetterly.

Continue ReadingMaine Couple Launch Alt-Style Monthly in Mexico

The San Francisco alt-weekly and the Media Alliance filed papers yesterday to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Bay Area newspaper deal between Hearst Corp. and MediaNews Group Inc., reports Editor & Publisher. The Bay Guardian hopes to unseal documents filed by the two companies in the case. "The courts are supposed to operate in public, and there's a clear public interest in this information," says Editor and Publisher Bruce Brugmann (pictured). "Our intent here is to ensure that the nation's biggest newspaper chains, as they move to destroy daily competition and impose a regional monopoly on the Bay Area, cannot do so in the dark of night with sealed records that set a terrible precedent for the free press, the First Amendment, and open government."

Continue ReadingBay Guardian Asks Court to Unseal Hearst/MediaNews Documents

Jeff Koyen accuses the Village Voice's new editor of failing to reinvent the alt-weekly format in his first three months on the job. "I'm ashamed to admit that I was optimistic when Blum was hired to run the Village Voice," Koyen writes in the British daily Guardian. "Unfortunately, Blum is playing by the book." Koyen, who approves of the "cleaned house" that followed the Voice's acquisition by the New Times chain, formerly competed with the Manhattan alt-weekly when he worked for a number years at the New York Press, where he was editor from 2003 to 2005.

Continue ReadingKoyen: David Blum’s First 100 Days a Disappointment

Having been allowed to read an advance draft of a critical story about him that the Washington City Paper is apparently preparing to publish, investigative reporter Murray Waas (pictured) beats D.C.'s alt-weekly to the punch with a rambling indictment on Huffington Post. Waas accuses the City Paper of baiting him to get juicy quotes for the story; making "degrading comments" about his experience as a cancer survivor; and using the newspaper as a tool to wage personal battles. "I believe that I have a clear obligation to other cancer survivors not to remain silent about such acts of prejudice and intolerance," Waas explains in defending his decision to go public.

Continue ReadingSubject of Forthcoming Profile Accuses Alt-Weekly of Unethical Reporting