Creative Loafing (Atlanta) editor Mara Shalhoup has been named to the same position at sister paper Chicago Reader.
Scott will be replaced by Creative Loafing (Tampa) publisher Sharry Smith, who will become the Atlanta paper's ninth publisher in six years.
In an op-ed, editor Mara Shalhoup tells readers, "We made a mistake."
This week the paper debuted its drastically redesigned print publication and also rolled out changes to its website. Editor-in-chief Mara Shalhoup says the process began about nine months ago, with questions like "What if we turned the paper into the type of publication that existed only in our imaginations?" and "What was to stop us from rethinking ... everything?" The print overhaul was led by newspaper designer/art director Ron Reason, who goes into detail about the process and the thinking behind a number of decisions in a blog post.
Henry E. Scott, who joined Creative Loafing, Inc. as vice president and chief marketing officer in February, has been named the publisher of the company's Atlanta paper. He replaces Luann Labedz, who announced her departure in March, and will be the paper's eighth publisher in six years. "With the declining circulation of the city's only daily, and its decision to move its newsroom [outside the Perimeter], we have emerged as Atlanta's largest-circulation hometown newspaper," he says. "That means we have an even greater responsibility to Atlantans who want to learn how to make the most of life in this sophisticated and cosmopolitan city."
Mara Shalhoup's BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family, which is being published by St. Martin's Press, is due to hit stores next week. The book springs from Shalhoup's 2006 award-winning three-part series in Creative Loafing (Atlanta), "BMF: Hip-hop's shadowy empire," which examined the rise of the Black Mafia Family, a cocaine-trafficking network with ties to a music label and various violent crimes in Atlanta. BMF leaders Big Meech and his brother Southwest T are each currently serving 30-year sentences.
Mara Shalhoup, who was named the paper's new editor-in-chief last month, says she hopes to eventually bring back the investigative pieces and longer stories that have mostly disappeared from the alt-weekly. "The in-depth, investigative pieces, they take time, and they take resources, and right now those are two things that can be of short supply," she tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We were under the gun to build page views and have a bigger presence online. We couldn't do both at the same time." Shalhoup also notes that she will likely be hiring more staff soon, a move that CL's new ownership team says it fully supports.
Shalhoup, who has been with the paper since 2000, will move into the EIC role from her current position as senior editor. "With Mara's rich history in the community and deep knowledge of journalism and Atlanta, she is the perfect choice to lead our editorial team," Creative Loafing (Atlanta) publisher Luann Labedz says. "Mara is a standout executive who has been a leader in innovation and is a great example of the paper's next generation of leaders."
The Association of Food Journalists last week named the winners of its 2009 Awards Competition at a banquet in New Orleans. Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman won first place for Best Newspaper Restaurant Criticism and Creative Loafing (Atlanta)'s Besha Rodell took home first for Best Newspaper Food Feature. (Riverfront Times' Kristen Hinman took third in that category.) Kauffman's victory marks the fourth year in a row that a Village Voice Media paper has won the Best Newspaper Restaurant Criticism category.
After Atalaya gained control of the six-paper company in bankruptcy court last week, several of the new board members met with staff at Creative Loafing (Atlanta). "I want your ideas," Jim O'Shea told them. "I want to hear from you. And I'll do everything in my power to make sure we're sitting here two, five, 10 years from now with more resources, more people, better salaries and more of a future." O'Shea, a former Los Angeles Times editor, will advise Atalaya on editorial strategy while former Des Moines Register president Richard Gilbert will be interim CEO. The Atlanta staff "applauded the sentiments" expressed by O'Shea, Thomas Wheatley reports. "After the meeting, one staffer likened the mood in the room to the elation with which liberals greeted the inauguration of President Barack Obama after eight years of George W. Bush."