Tribune Co. subsidiary CT1 Media has merged its three Connecticut alt-weeklies â€” Hartford Advocate, New Haven Advocate, and Fairfield County Weekly â€” with the entertainment weekly previously published by the daily Hartford Courant.
The brew by former Hartford Advocate writer Jon Campbell is billed as "the first beer brewed by print journalists, for print journalists."
The Tribune Company has laid off New Mass. Media group publisher Joshua Mamis along with two graphic designers. The company publishes publishes the Fairfield County Weekly, Hartford Advocate, and New Haven Advocate.
The Connecticut alt-weekly this week introduced "High Concept," a new pot advice column that aims to "address questions of all the smokers out there" in an "entertaining but also useful and informative" way. "We're hoping there will be smart questions about neuroscience, memory studies, the law, high quality, pot culture, etc.," Advocate managing editor John Adamian says in an email.
That's what the Yale Daily News finds in a report on how three local news organizations are faring in the downturn. While the Advocate's "circulation is steady," as managing editor John Stoehr points out, publisher Joshua Mamis admits that the paper's page count has decreased. Mamis also notes that although the paper has lost some national advertisers, many local advertisers have remained loyal.
When a news website in Pasadena made headlines last year for its decision to outsource City Hall coverage to reporters in India, the group managing editor of the Hartford Advocate, New Haven Advocate and Fairfield County Weekly wondered if his three alt-weeklies could do the same thing. While John Adamian's idea started as a joke, it quickly led to an actual exercise in outsourcing journalism -- and the results are this week's papers, which have been mostly generated by Indian freelancers. The papers say the experiment proves that outsourcing a local newspaper is possible, but not recommended. "Call us old-school, but we think good, old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism is worth the price," the staff writes in an editors' note. "Outsourcing could certainly fill pages, probably very cheaply, but what's lost is the very essence of local newspapers: presence."
As part of company-wide cuts at Creative Loafing, Washington City Paper and Creative Loafing (Charlotte) have each reportedly laid off two employees. In addition, Mediabistro is reporting on an unspecified number of layoffs at L.A. Weekly, and the Valley Advocate says that last week associate publisher Do-Han Allen and circulation manager Jeffrey Owczarski became "the latest casualties of a series of year-end layoffs by our parent company." A few days after his paper laid off seven, Creative Loafing (Tampa) editor David Warner dedicates his editor's note to a list of "the Top 10 Reasons Layoffs Suck."
"What does this mean for the Advocates? Who the fuck knows? We're so low in the Tribune food chain that we're not even mentioned in the annual reports," writes Christopher Arnott, who spent 17 years as an Advocate staffer before going full-time freelance. "The Advocate's sucked it up before and [stayed] alive in hard times. Let's hope the corporation gives it the chance to do it again."
The embattled Tribune Company, which owns three AAN papers, has hired an investment bank and law firm in recent days to advise the company on a possible trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Tribune owns the Fairfield County Weekly, Hartford Advocate and New Haven Advocate. Sources tell the Journal that a filing could come as early as this week. UPDATE (4:05 pm): The company did indeed file for bankruptcy protection today, and will stop making interest payments on $12 billion in debt as it attempts to restructure its loans, the Los Angeles Times reports.
To save costs in an ever-tightening economy, two of the three New Mass. Media papers will now share office space in New Haven. Staff members have been given laptops and cellphones and will seemingly be traveling in the Fairfield County area -- about 20 miles from New Haven -- quite a bit.