The hearing scheduled yesterday was set to decide whether CL's creditors can declare their loans in default and take immediate possession of the company from CEO Ben Eason. According to Wayne Garcia, the hearing has been continued until March 11. Garcia says both sides in the case complained about the delay but worked together to develop a new timeline.
The Sunday Paper publisher Patrick Best announced his plans on Friday, citing the troubles of Creative Loafing -- which owns papers in Atlanta, Charlotte and Tampa -- as a major reason. "While we planned to go to both of these markets in the next few years, the troubles of the parent company of the major newsweeklies in both cities have convinced us to accelerate our plans," he says. Best, who was Creative Loafing (Atlanta)'s advertising director before launching The Sunday Paper, recently offered CL CEO Ben Eason $1 million for the Loaf's Atlanta publication. Best's expansion plans are being helped by funding from Brian Conley, the former owner of Knoxville, Tenn., AAN member Metro Pulse and current shareholder of Sunday Paper Publishing. Meanwhile, Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy reports that Eason's main creditor filed a motion (PDF) on Friday claiming CL has not been forthcoming in explaining budgets and cash flow forecasts. The CL bankruptcy protection case is scheduled to go before a judge on Wednesday.
In a farewell message to former Creative Loafing (Atlanta) editor Ken Edelstein, staffer Mara Shalhoup writes: "I think I speak for everyone here when I say, 'Thank you for giving me a chance. Thank you for working me hard. And thank you for making Creative Loafing aim higher. You will be missed.'" Edelstein, who had been with the paper for a decade, was fired last week after a reportedly "heated meeting" with CEO Ben Eason on implementing editorial cuts.
Patrick Best, who spent four years as CL's advertising director before starting rival publication The Sunday Paper, told Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy last week he's willing to pay Ben Eason $1 million for Creative Loafing (Atlanta). Fennessy notes that it is unclear whether the purchase would even be possible, given CL's Chapter 11 status, but Best says "it's not unusual for businesses that are in bankruptcy to sell off pieces of their company in order to raise capital." MORE on Creative Loafing: Former senior editor (and current shareholder) John Sugg writes about CL's "death spiral," and Creative Loafing's Mara Shalhoup responds. And departing senior writer Andisheh Nouraee discusses why he is leaving with Atlanta Progressive News.
Andisheh Nouraee submitted his resignation to publisher Luann Lebedz just hours after Lebedz fired editor Ken Edelstein yesterday, Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy reports. Nouraee, who began freelancing for the paper in 2000 and joined the staff in 2007, says his decision was prompted only in part by Edelstein's dismissal. "What happened today is just one symptom of the overall reason, that I don't want to work there full-time anymore," he says. His last day will be Dec. 5.
Ken Edelstein was fired today after a decade as an editor at Creative Loafing's flagship paper, according to Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy. Edelstein reportedly had a "heated meeting" last week with CL CEO Ben Eason over the implementation of further editorial cuts. "The meeting made it clear that Ben and I have very deep philosophical differences about what's best for the company and its employees," Edelstein tells Fennessy. More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The company, which owns Creative Loafing papers in Atlanta, Charlotte, Sarasota and Tampa, as well as the Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning, the St. Petersburg Times reports. City Paper editor Erik Wemple reports that CEO Ben Eason discussed the filing with top company officials in a conference call this morning, and said that the bankruptcy filing would allow CL's six papers to establish a greater online presence while the company reorganizes its operations. A corporate memo on the filing says it "has little to do with the acquisition" of the Reader and City Paper last year. Eason also said that the move entails no liquidation or layoffs. In fact, the Chapter 11 filing will roll back editorial staff cuts at the papers, Wemple writes. MORE: Read more about the move from Creative Loafing (Tampa), the Reader, Crain's and Bloomberg News.
CL's Atlanta editor Ken Edelstein reports that he laid off two editorial staffers on Monday: Senior editor Scott Freeman and senior writer David Lee Simmons. In addition, the St. Petersburg Times reports that CL's Tampa paper has let go of Lance Goldenberg, who'd been a freelance film critic for the paper for 19 years. In his statement, Tampa editor David Warner said that the hole in film coverage will be filled with staff writers from CL's newly acquired papers in Chicago and Washington.
"Layered in laughable, lopsided, linguistic humor, Hollis Gillespie's Trailer Trashed: My Dubious Efforts Toward Upward Mobility is a wonderful land of well-crafted humor within a world of spellbinding wit," writes J. Edward Sumerau in Metro Spirit. The marks the third book for Gillespie, who writes the "Moodswing" column for Creative Loafing. "I never know how to explain my books except to say, 'It's like Shakespeare,' and hope people get the joke," Gillespie tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "This book literally covers my dubious efforts at upward mobility, starting with life with my Dad, the drunk trailer salesman, and ending with selling the TV series (which is based on my first two books) in Hollywood." That TV series is back on track after a brief detour due to the writers' strike, Gillespie tells the Journal, with Laura Dern in tow. "[She's] been a champion of the project since the day after my first book was released," Gillespie says.
CL's publications in Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Charlotte and Sarasota have joined the company's Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper as members of Ruxton, according to a press release issued this afternoon by Village Voice Media's national advertising firm. Under the arrangement, Ruxton will serve as Creative Loafing's exclusive representative for national print advertising and also will provide non-exclusive representation for online advertising.