Eric Broder, managing editor at the Cleveland Free Times, which turns 10 this week, remembers a time when the paper could hardly fill ad space. "The issue is 24 pages, consisting mainly of editorial. You don't want that. You want ads in there, and plenty of 'em. But this was the first issue. It's tough enough to sell ad space for a publication, and tougher yet for one that doesn't exist." Broder reflects on the last decade of a paper that was one business deal away from never happening.
Lisa Chamberlain has been let go as editor-in-chief of the Cleveland Free Times and has gone to work for an Ohio congressman. Publisher Matt Fabyan says the decision was his. The Free Times is conducting a national search for a replacement. In the meantime, Don Forst, editor-in-chief, of The Village Voice will be spending three days a week in Cleveland to help put out the paper.
The Cleveland Free Times' pick of Rep. Gary Condit, R-Calif., as Man of the Year wins praise from Al Kamen of The Washington Post. Kamen says Free Times "got it right" because the selection "should be given to someone who kept the country enthralled for much of the year." Even after Sept. 11 should have wiped Condit off the radar, Condit "was determined not to cede the front page to Osama." Lisa Chamberlain, editor of the Free Times, says in an editorial about the choice, "Gary Condit is the quintessence of a gluttonous society operating without fear or consequence, content to distract itself with inanities."
Lisa Chamberlain, editor of Cleveland Free Times, tells JournalismJobs.com that alt weeklies thrive because mainstream media is "so neutered, so buttoned down and so devoid of any personality that people simply cannot relate to it." She says alternative papers have "grown up without losing our edge" and calls alternative journalism "one of the last places left to do really in-depth, hard-hitting work."