L.A. Alternative Sheds Its Print Version for the Web

This Friday’s L.A. Alternative will be the last issue of the paper to hit the streets. Starting next week, the revered weekly local publication will become a Web-only hub for daily content that will continue to offer Angelenos a fresh, irreverent and non-corporate take on L.A. politics and culture, online only.

This Friday’s cover of L.A. Alternative will read plainly and simply “Print is Dead.” The text of every article and column will gradually fade to white halfway through to entice readers to read the rest online.

L.A. Alternative, which publisher Martin Albornoz founded in 2001 as the Silver Lake Press, is the only independent and locally-owned newsweekly in Los Angeles. As an AAN publication, L.A. Alternative has distributed 60,000 copies to over 1,000 locations every week since the paper went weekly last December.

The decision to go Web-only was a hard one to make, according to Albornoz. “We really tried to make this paper a successful, citywide alternative to the other weeklies, but in the end, they were able to outgun us,” Albornoz said.

“As large corporations get involved in publishing, the bottom line becomes the most important aspect of the business. The idea of public service or sense of community gets thrown out and is replaced by a cookie-cutter style of publishing where profits need to be maximized. We couldn’t really thrive in this environment and so it may be time for us to switch to a new format.”

L.A. Alternative’s crossover to a Web-only publication comes at a time when even profitable daily newspapers like the Los Angeles Times are trying desperately to become more Web-savvy. LAAlternative.com will retain many of the columnists and feature writers who have made the newsweekly’s voice in Los Angeles distinct and important, only the website will feature this content posted on a daily basis.

“Over the years, we have built a loyal following of people who are passionate about our editorial content, not just in print but online. Our website has been an integral part of what we’ve been doing for some time now. Going Web only just seems like a natural progression, and at the right time.”

The Web launch for L.A. Alternative will kick-off next week with the alternative fashion “issue,” with numerous posts and visual content on everything from L.A.’s fashion inventions of the past to an “Ode to the T-shirt” and exclusive fashion shots of L.A.’s youngest and hippest trendsetters in their favorite T’s. Look for it exclusively on www.laalternative.com.