The confidential survey (click here for PDF copy) covers a broad range of topics, including financial info, web traffic, staffing, software, marketing, email newsletters, blogs and multimedia. It was emailed to AAN publishers today. The results will be compiled by AAN staff; Jackson Free Press' Todd Stauffer will analyze the results and present the findings in a closed session at the AAN Convention in Philadelphia. Only those papers that substantially complete the survey by the close-of-business on May 12 will receive a copy of the results and be allowed to attend Stauffer's presentation at the convention.

Continue ReadingAAN’s Inaugural Web Publishing Survey Sent Out Today

The websites represented by the cooperative now represent 8.735 million unique visitors monthly, AWN says in a release. That's an increase of roughly 200 percent over last year. AWN now handles national sales for 91 AAN member websites, as well as the sites for many non-AAN newsweeklies and magazines. "It's nice to see this kind of growth in our network, whether it's from increased visitors on alt-weekly sites, or by adding additional sites to our cooperative network," executive director Mark Hanzlik says. "Either way, we're now making an impressive imprint in the digital world, and can now take our product to market more effectively."

Continue ReadingAlternative Weekly Network Websites Show Healthy Traffic Gains

At the annual meeting in Portland last year, AAN members approved a budget that eliminated funding for the regional staff training conferences that had been held annually in San Francisco and Washington D.C., AAN Board president Stephen Leon explains in a memo mailed to publishers this week (and available in the Resource Library). In lieu of the conferences, the Board allocated a sum of money to "regional staff training," without specifying dates or locations. The idea was that individual publishers, or small groups of publishers, could submit conference proposals to AAN to apply for "grant" money from the budget. This year's AAN West conference was the first conference organized under the program; in a document that was attached to Leon's memo, the organizers share their "formula for success."

Continue ReadingAAN Promotes Regional Staff Training Fund

The Austin Chronicle's advertising director -- and AAN Retail Advertising Committee chair -- says she's leaving the paper in the first week of July. Flagg plans to move back home to Phoenix to start a new company that provides consulting services. She will step down from her position on the AAN Board of Directors following the board's meeting in June in Philadelphia. Her departure means someone will be elected at the convention to serve the one year remaining in her term as retail ad chair.

Continue ReadingAAN Board Member Carol Flagg to Step Down

This year's AAN Convention heads back to the East Coast -- Philadelphia, to be exact. The Declaration of IndependAANts, the association's 31st annual convention, will be hosted by the Philadelphia City Paper from June 5-7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. As always, AAN has lined up a mix of special speakers, brass-tacks programming, and plenty of food, drink and revelry. New Yorker reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh (pictured) is the featured speaker at Friday's First Amendment Lunch, while OC Weekly staffer and "Ask a Mexican!" columnist Gustavo Arellano will host Saturday's AltWeekly Awards Lunch. The convention website -- where you'll find registration information, event schedules, and programming details -- is now live and accepting registrations. Be sure to register before May 2 to get discounted rates.

Continue ReadingConvention Website Open for Business

Rick Mundy has joined the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies as director of sales and marketing. He has a more than a decade of experience in newspapers, in sales, marketing, and publishing at various community newspapers, and also as federation manager at the Newspaper Association of America. Mundy's immediate focus will be on revitalizing the AAN CAN classified program. His first day on staff was March 4.

Continue ReadingAAN Hires New Director of Sales and Marketing

Times-Shamrock Communications this week announced plans to begin passing operational control of the company to the fourth generation of the Lynett-Haggerty family. Four family members will join publisher William R. Lynett as chief executive officers, since they've completed the company's Management Development Program, a four-year track that provides future Times-Shamrock leaders with experience in each of its three major divisions as well as a year interning at an outside media company. The company, through its Times-Shamrock Alternative Newsweekly Group, owns AAN members Baltimore City Paper, Metro Times, Orlando Weekly, and the San Antonio Current. Of the new CEOs, Scott Lynett and Bobby Lynett spent time working at City Paper; while George V. Lynett Jr. put in three years at the Current. In addition, City Paper promotions manager Greg Lynett will now take the helm as publisher of The Citizens Voice in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Continue ReadingNew Generation Taking Times-Shamrock Helm

This year's AAN West conference went very well, according to the results of a post-conference survey. A total of 273 people attended the meeting, which was held last month in San Francisco, and 98 percent of the survey respondents agreed that the conference was an overall success. A summary of the survey results has been posted in the Resource Library.

Continue ReadingAAN West Post-Conference Survey Results Available

This year's crop of applying newspapers hail from 10 U.S. states and one Canadian province, and seven of them have previously applied for membership. AAN's Membership Committee will review the papers over the next several months and will discuss their findings when the committee meets in Washington, D.C. on May 3. The committee will then issue its recommendations regarding each application prior to the Annual Meeting, which will take place in Philadelphia on June 7, the last day of the annual AAN convention. The 12 applying papers must be approved by two-thirds of the members voting at the meeting in order to join AAN. In addition, as we reported in December, the status of five current member papers will be reviewed this year.

Continue ReadingTwelve Newspapers Apply for AAN Membership