The Weekly, competing with other large-circulation newspapers, won a total of 13 awards in the annual competition sponsored by the LA Press Club. Staff writer Christine Pelisek had a big night, winning first-place honors for Feature, Hard News and Investigative/Series (where she also received an Honorable Mention). Pelisek also finished second for Journalist of the Year. The Weekly placed first in three additional categories: Columnist, Entertainment News or Feature and Political Coverage. Syndicated "Advice Goddess" columnist Amy Alkon also took home a first-place win for Headline Writing in the large-circ category. Amongst the smaller papers, three AAN members were recognized for their work. OC Weekly won three first-place awards, for Design, Entertainment News or Feature and Entertainment Reviews/Criticism/Column. Pasadena Weekly won three awards, and the late LA CityBeat won one.
Amy J. Ruiz is leaving the paper to become incoming Portland Mayor Sam Adams' new Strategic Planning and Sustainability Policy Advisor. After congratulating Ruiz, editor Wm. Steven Humphrey gives a message to Adams. "If you think purchasing our employees is going to stop the Mercury from dogging your every decision and step, you are horribly mistaken," he writes. "In fact, our next news hire will make you wish you'd never been born -- in a fair and accurate way, of course."
The Georgetown Voice's nearly 3,000-word story on the alt-weekly looks at how it is evolving under the ownership of Creative Loafing, and how the paper is fighting to maintain its identity -- and market share -- despite having fewer resources. "You want to create a rich environment and then bring it down into the print," says CL CEO Ben Eason, who is currently focused on uniting the company's six papers as a national web presence. "Without a doubt, the web is a far richer environment than print." Editor Erik Wemple says he sees the paper a year from now as being "very, very, very much a web machine." But publisher Amy Austin adds that, while online advertising revenue is quickly growing for City Paper, it still only makes up approximately 5 percent of the paper's total revenue, which has been in decline. By 2006, the paper's net revenue -- traditionally around 15 percent -- had fallen to 4.7 percent.
On the heels of the presidential candidate's "testy exchange" with a New York Times reporter last week, Politico talks to some Arizona journalists who describe "a sometimes pugnacious politician whose media strategy is a far cry from joking asides and backslaps around the barbecue pit." Former Arizona Republic national editor Tina May, who now edits the Monterey County Weekly, recalls a Republic story on McCain's temper in 2006 that led to her reporter being kicked "off the bus." She tells Politico it's "a perfect example of how McCain people treated the Republic differently than the national media," which has, in exchange, often flattered the Republican senator. Politico says that Phoenix New Times' Amy Silverman -- "one of McCain's most persistent critics" -- documented the romance between McCain and the national press in 1997's "prescient" story, "The Pampered Politican."
The rights to the syndicated columnist's book, Revengerella: One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society, have been sold to McGraw-Hill. The book will feature "true stories of the spectacular ways a self-described 'manners psycho' pranks cell phone abusers, telemarketers, spamsters, road hogs, and other bad guys out of being rude."
Syndicated sex columnist Amy Alkon knows how to get her man -- and manners. Recently, when a cafe patron sitting within earshot chatted too loudly on her cell phone, Alkon recorded and published details of the conversation, including the woman's name, telephone number, and plans for the afternoon. When the Wall Street Journal reported the incident but disguised Alkon's identity, Alkon wrote about that, too, taking credit for her coffeeshop intervention. She is scheduled to appear tonight on ABC's Nightline to discuss the "undermannered" and how to deal with them.
When syndicated Advice Goddess Amy Alkon used "polyamory" in a headline for a column on a cheating boyfriend that appeared in the Ventura County Reporter, Poynter contributor Amy Gahran took issue, pointing out the word's true meaning described consensually open relationships. Gahran's reproof precipitated a war of words between the semanticistas that MediaBistro's FishbowlLA blog is calling the "the on-line equivalent of a cat fight."
Amy Alkon isn't shy about expressing her opinion, as anyone who reads her syndicated column "The Advice Goddess" knows. In a July 13 blog post, Alkon offered her thoughts on a cancer-stricken teenager who was fighting a legal battle to take herbal treatment in lieu of chemotherapy. She was upset at the boy's "idiot parents" for backing him. Forrest MacGregor, the teenager's uncle, read her post and retaliated by purchasing the domain names AmyAlkon.net, AmyAlkon.biz, AmyAlkon.info, AmyAlkon.org, and AmyAlkon.us. The Advice Goddess posted an e-mail she received from MacGregor on her blog, and offered him the following bit of guidance: "Do I really seem like a good person to fuck with? Hmmm, real genius there, Forrest. Forrest, so I'm a big meanie. Don't you have a life or anything? Don't you have anything better to do?"
In the first installment of AAN's new interview series, Amy Austin (pictured), Dave Nuttycombe and Tim Carman of Washington City Paper describe how reader-created restaurant reviews have forged a new relationship between the newspaper's print and Web products. They also explain the meaning of sporks. To suggest a topic for a future interview, contact Amy Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press co-publisher Jed Morey told Newsday writer James T. Madore that Fisher has been released from her obligation as a columnist and has "moved on to bigger projects," although he would not specify what those projects are. Madore calls the former Long Island Lolita the Press' "most famous columnist," and quotes a media studies professor who speculates that the move will hurt the weekly's circulation. (Long Island Press famously exposed Newsday's inflated circulation figures last year.)