Google has agreed to sponsor the opening night cocktail reception at this year's convention, and will also be making presentations focusing on both its ad-server software Ad Manager, and its ad network AdSense. The Ad Manager presentation will be a follow-up to an exclusive webinar for AAN members led by senior ad serving consultant Mark Wolly. All AAN member publishers and senior managers will receive email invitations to the webinar, which is scheduled for April 23, and there is no limit to the number of people at each company who can participate. The 32nd Annual AAN Convention is scheduled for June 25-27 in Tucson.
The families that own and operate the Scranton-based company have taken a 10 percent haircut, and other managers in the chain will see their salaries decline by 3 to 5 percent. Co-publisher and CEO Scott Lynett tells AP that the deteriorating economy forced the company to make cuts, which also include employee buyouts at four of its papers in Pennsylvania. Times-Shamrock owns five AAN papers: Baltimore City Paper, Detroit's Metro Times, Orlando Weekly, San Antonio Current and Cleveland's Scene.
Ling Ma, a 2008 graduate of the Academy for Alternative Journalism, wrote this week's Chicago Reader cover story about the city's Museum of Holography and a controversial bank loan that may spell the museum's demise. The yearly academy trains young journalists in long-form feature writing with the aim of recruiting them into the alternative press. MORE: Read Ma's blog about reporting the story here.
Attention sales reps! The top AAN CAN seller between Feb. 9 and April 30 will win his or her choice of a trip to an all-inclusive Caribbean resort or a Caribbean cruise. The winner must meet the individual goal of at least $7,500 of new AAN CAN advertising sold during the contest period. Check out this PDF for more details and contest rules. Each week AAN is also paying $100 to the top salesperson in dollar volume placing paid AAN CAN advertising that week. In addition, the AAN CAN media kit was recently updated with current information on regional and national rates, participating papers, and circulations. You can download it here.
In a letter published in this week's New Yorker, Richard Karpel tells the magazine that Louis Menand was bizarrely off the mark when he claimed in his recent story on The Village Voice that "after 1970, the alternative press died out" when "mainstream publications moved into the field." Karpel writes: "The progenitors of the alternative press ... were founded by trailblazers so far out of the mainstream that forty years later even a scrupulous publication like The New Yorker seems to have forgotten that they exist," MORE: Texas Observer managing editor Brad Tyer weighs in on Menand's piece on his blog.
AAN's new eighth-page display ad network, known as AAN BRAN, published its first network-wide ad the week of Dec. 8. The ad, from the charity Direct Relief International, ran in scores of papers across the country and was sold by Evan Wells of the Santa Barbara Independent. Click through to learn more about the new program.
The readers of more than 70 alternative newspapers are being urged to spend at least $100 of their holiday money this fall at locally owned stores in their communities -- a move that could pump more than $2.9 billion into urban economies during this recession-plagued season. The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, the American Independent Business Alliance, and East Bay Express publisher Jody Colley helped develop the unprecedented project, and AAN helped line up 73 North American papers to participate. "If every one of the 17.5 million readers of these weeklies were to spend just $100 with local, independently owned merchants, the impact would be enormous," Colley says.
Adam Ebbin directed donations from "a clandestine group of wealthy, gay political donors" to defeat anti-gay politicians in Virginia in 2005, TIME reports in a story examining the group, known as "the Cabinet." AAN's former marketing director is the only openly gay member of Virginia's general assembly. Ebbin is also a former employee of the Washington City Paper, where he worked during the 90's with John Cloud, the author of TIME's story.
Next June, AAN members will descend on the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson for the association's 32nd Annual Convention, hosted by Tucson Weekly. "This is one of the nicest places AAN has ever used for a convention," says San Francisco Bay Guardian executive editor Tim Redmond, who visited the property along with other AAN board members for a meeting last month. Read here for more about the convention and the lush Starr Pass resort.
The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies has hired Jason Zaragoza to the newly created position of advertising and awards coordinator. His first day with AAN was Oct. 14. Zaragoza takes over for Stephanie Roswell in handling the logisitics of the AAN CAN classified network, and for Heather Kuldell in coordinating the AltWeekly Awards. "Jason is smart and organized, and he has an incredibly professional attitude for someone so young," says AAN executive director Richard Karpel. "We're counting on him to keep AAN CAN and the awards contest running smoothly."