Siegel Steps Down As Publisher of Cleveland Free Times

Fabyan and Chamberlain Succeed Son of Paper's Founder.

Friday was Randy Siegel’s last day as publisher and editor of the seven-year old Cleveland Free Times. “I am stepping down as publisher to take a break and spend some time with my family assessing our different options,” Siegel said in a press release issued by the paper.

Siegel took over as publisher in 1993 after the death of his father (and the paper’s founder), Richard H. Siegel. In November 1997, the Free Times was bought by the Stern Publishing chain, which has since put its seven papers up for sale.

“I think it’s highly likely that I’ll stay involved in media,” Siegel told AAN News. “I love the media industry and I love publishing,” said the former marketing executive for Newsweek and the Washington Post.

Siegel was upbeat about the future of the alternative newsweekly industry. “I’m proud to have been a part of it in Cleveland,” he said.

Matt Fabyan will succeed Siegel as publisher. A former advertising director at Cleveland Scene before it was acquired by New Times Inc., Fabyan joined the Free Times as associate publisher in September 1998.

31-year old associate editor Lisa Chamberlain will replace Siegel as editor-in-chief. (Siegel had assumed the title of editor after former editor Tom Vasich left the paper in July.) Chamberlain began her career with the Free Times as an intern in 1993. After a two-year stint with a congressional campaign in Washington, D.C., she returned to the paper in January 1999 as associate editor.

Chamberlain’s June 16 cover story about a possible link between a bacteria in milk and Crohn’s disease will be recognized by Sonoma State University’s Project Censored as one of the Top 25 “censored” stories of 1999.

In Friday’s press release, Stern Publishing President David Schneiderman said, “Randy Siegel has been the heart and soul of the Free Times for many years. I fully understand his decision to move on, both personally and professionally. Fortunately, we have talented people like Matt Fabyan and Lisa Chamberlain to fill his formidable shoes.”

Siegel had nothing but praise for Fabyan and Chamberlain. “I think they’ll do a great job,” he said enthusiastically.

Now that Chamberlain has been promoted, the Free Times is looking for a news editor. Click here for more details.

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