This letter responds to an AAN News article about growing competition to produce the best calendar listings. One of those quoted in the article is Alistair Highet, editor of The Hartford Advocate. The Advocate is published by New Mass. Media, which is owned by the Tribune Co.
The Advocate chain (like Red Eye [a youth-oriented Chicago tabloid]) is owned by Tribune. Presently, the New Haven Advocate runs 12 or 16 pages weekly direct from the Hartford Courant — complete with Courant typeface, bylines and even the fringe cuts and tiny press holes at the edge of the pages.
That Hartford Advocate editor Alistair Highet pretends to speak with authority about the “broad view of the [alt-weekly] industry” is dubious, as he spent less than two years working for an independent “alternative” media company before the Times Mirror corporation bought up the Advocate in 1999, creating the first instance of the local daily merging with its purported alt-weekly competition. [See this article.]
As a result of that merger and the following year’s buy-out of Times Mirror by Tribune, the Advocate faces no well-capitalized competition in either its listings or its news coverage.
Acknowledgement of this would have strengthened your story.
Edward Ericson, Jr.
Baltimore City Paper
Edward Ericson, Jr. is a staff writer for Baltimore City Paper. He was a reporter for the Advocate from 1990-95 and from 1999-2003.