Birmingham Weekly will publish every 10 days rather than every 7 days. Owner Stephen Humphreys plans to devote more attention to hosting events at the paper's new office.
Magnolia Media and publisher Chuck Leishman relinquished control of the paper in June after accruing close to two years' worth of unpaid payroll taxes and other debts.
Birmingham Weekly re-launched its website yesterday, a project it pulled off with assistance from Wehaa. The new website includes a digital version of the paper and an updated events calendar interface.
Updated July 6, 2010: In a column introducing the new website, publisher Chuck Leishman writes, "We believe that the combination of a free weekly paper integrated with a vibrant website is a viable model for delivering news and information to the community. Building communities is what we are all about, and the new integrated site greatly increases Birmingham Weeklyâ€™s ability to help further that goal."
Glenny Brock tells Media of Birmingham that the decision to leave the Weekly was "mutually agreed upon" after conversations with publisher Chuck Leishman. Her last day at the paper will be March 11, and she says that special projects editor Jesse Chambers has been tapped to take over as editor. "I will always consider the Weekly my proving ground and the first great love of my professional life. I've done a lot of good work there and perhaps some great work," Brock says. "Now, after overseeing the completion of more than 460 issues of the paper and dozens of supplemental publications, it's time to do something else."
This innovative program came to be after the young paper was having trouble selling restaurant ads for actual cash -- most establishments simply wanted to trade for food. Those meals are now sold via the Weekly Card, which is a sort of credit card for local businesses. Members pay the Weekly a flat fee of $24.95 when they sign up for a card, and then receive 40 percent off retail price at the participating businesses. Users can then add credit to the cards as they wish. Publisher Chuck Leishman recently talked to AAN News about the program's origins, its success, and his plans for other markets.
"We've made it this far because we embraced the editorial freedoms others refused themselves," writes columnist Kyle Whitmire. "While our orthodox brethren have feared innovation, we lived by it." Editor Glenny Brock, columnist Courtney Haden, and former staff writer and editor Thomas Spencer also reflect on why the paper has survived and what it means for the city.
The Strip and its publisher Brooks Cloud have broken away from Magnolia Media, a partnership that brought together Birmingham Weekly, the Creative Loafing chain, and The Strip of Tuscaloosa, Ala. Cloud moves back to Tuscaloosa, resigning as general manager and ad director of the Weekly. Cloud’s new company, Monkey Media, also published Tuscaloosa Business Ink. “The Strip really needed the attention of an on-site publisher,” Chuck Leishman, publisher of Birmingham Weekly, tells AAN News.