Five newspapers have applied for membership in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies this year, and the status of six current member papers will be reviewed. Those issues and other association business will be addressed at the organization’s next Annual Meeting, which will be held in Tucson on Saturday, June 27, the last day of this year’s AAN convention.
Several of the papers have applied for membership before, and a few are new to the process. See Magazine has applied each of the past two years, Inland Empire Weekly applied last year, and Volume One applied in 2007.
Both See and Inland Empire Weekly have AAN ties. See is the sister paper of AAN member Fast Forward Weekly, while the Weekly is owned by Southland Publishing, which also owns AAN members Pasadena Weekly, San Diego CityBeat and the Ventura County Reporter.
One of the first-time applicants also has AAN ties. The Anchorage Press is a sister paper of Tucson Weekly (they are both owned by Wick Communications), and it has seen a number of editors and publishers come from and go to AAN member papers.
AAN has produced reports on each applying paper, detailing the business history and backgrounds of their current ownerships. The report — which also details the ownership of the six current members being reviewed — is currently in the AAN Resource Library.
The AAN Membership Committee has been reviewing the newspapers and their applications, and will discuss their findings when the committee meets in Tucson on Wednesday, June 24.
Following its meeting, the committee will issue its recommendations regarding each application. Copies will be available at the convention, and the recommendations will also be available on AAN.org. The five applying papers must be approved by two-thirds of the members voting at the Annual Meeting in order to join AAN.
These are the five newspapers that have applied for AAN membership this year:
- Anchorage Press (Anchorage, Alaska; anchoragepress.com)
- Inland Empire Weekly (Corona, Calif.; ieweekly.com)
- See Magazine (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; seemagazine.com)
- Omaha City Weekly (Omaha, Neb.; omahacityweekly.com)
- Volume One, (Eau Claire, Wis.; volumeone.org)
Meanwhile, due to a 2004 change in the association’s bylaws, six papers that have taken on new majority owners in the past two years will have their AAN membership reviewed in 2008.
The papers that will be reviewed in 2009 are the Chicago Reader, LEO Weekly (Louisville, Ky.), New York Press, Scene (Cleveland), Valley Advocate (Northampton, Mass.) and Washington City Paper.
The Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper were purchased by Creative Loafing in 2007. The New York Press and Valley Advocate also changed hands in 2007, while LEO Weekly and the Scene were sold in 2008.
The affirmation process is similar to the applying-paper process, with the Membership Committee reviewing the papers and issuing a recommendation to the general membership. However, the affirmation process requires the committee to review both pre- and post-sale issues to detect changes that have been made since the new owners took over. In addition, it takes a two-thirds majority of the voting members to revoke a reviewed paper’s membership.