Utne magazine has announced the nominees for its 2004 Independent Press Awards, and Association of Alternative Newsweeklies member papers dominate the "Local/Regional Coverage" category. Austin Chronicle, Chicago Reader, The Stranger, The Texas Observer and Westword all received nominations, as did Los Angeles CityBeat, an upstart alt-weekly that's only been publishing for 16 months. Nominees were chosen from among 2,000 alternative media sources. According to the Utne Web site, selection depended partly upon which publications were "most apt to go missing from the Utne library."

Continue ReadingUtne Awards Acknowledge Alts

Chicago Tribune media critic Steve Johnson weighs in on the Chicago Reader's recent redesign, writing, "Suddenly a publication that looked a little murky and, perhaps, vulnerable, has a new air of vibrancy." Next year, Time Out New York is scheduled to launch its Chicago edition, which will compete directly with the Reader by publishing comprehensive entertainment listings. Reader editor Alison True tells Johnson, however, that the redesign wasn't prompted by Time Out's imminent arrival. "A paper that takes 12 years to redesign doesn't make impulse decisions," she says. (Free registration required.)

Continue ReadingRedesign Gives Reader “A New Air of Vibrancy”

The Chicago Reader will hit stands on Thursday, Sept. 16, with a colorful front page and new layout, marking its first redesign in 12 years, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Rather than feature the text of the lead story, the new front page will read vertically and be highlighted by color photos and art above the fold. An advertisement will be below the fold. The paper's inner sections will also get front-page makeovers to prominently feature week-at-a-glance calendars and critics' picks. Editor Alison True tells reporter Eric Herman that the goal of the redesign was to put "a lot more information on the covers."

Continue ReadingChicago Reader Gets a Facelift

Chicago Reader has been named to Editor & Publisher's "10 That Do It Right" list. It is cited for its singular achievement in attracting young, single readers while producing a thick, substantive paper that doesn't fit the mold. "Long-form journalism is a staple, but screechy commentary on national issues isn't," E&P's Greg Mitchell comments. The Reader and nine other winners are profiled in an online article available only to E&P subscribers.

Continue ReadingE&P Picks Chicago Reader As a Paper That Does It Right

The former publisher of the Seattle Weekly will begin his new dual role in April. He succeeds Jane Levine, who will remain with the Reader but step aside from day-to-day operations after 10 years as its publisher and chief operating officer. Crystal will also serve as COO of Washington City Paper, the Reader’s sister publication in Washington, D.C. Crystal and Levine once worked together at Seattle Weekly, both as vice presidents.

Continue ReadingMichael Crystal to Become Publisher and COO of Chicago Reader

It's an extra challenge to be alternative in a town where marijuana coffee shops and prostitutes posing in brothel windows are the norm. Todd Savage, a former Chicago Reader freelancer, didn't let that daunt him. He debuted his new English-language alt-weekly in the Netherlands' largest city this week. The Reader is a major investor in the enterprise.

Continue ReadingAmsterdam Weekly Debuts with Help from Chicago Reader

Time Out Chicago will debut next September, entering an already crowded field of publications with extensive entertainment listings in that city, David Carr reports for The New York Times. Distribution of the weekly magazine will be through mailed subscriptions and newsstand sales. “They have been successful in a number of markets, but I don’t think they have ever come into a market that does listings as well as we do,” Jane Levine, publisher of the Chicago Reader, told Carr. Time Out Group also publishes Time Out New York and Time Out London.

Continue ReadingEntertainment Listings Magazine to Debut in Chicago

So says Chicago Reader Publisher and COO Jane Levine (pictured), who admits that Tribune Publishing's new youth-oriented daily tabloid has made it more difficult to reach Tribune clients who don't advertise in the Reader. "It's just easier for them and way cheaper" to add RedEye to their Tribune media spend, Levine tells Media Daily News. "These papers are going after, and I don't think very successfully, an age," Levine says. "They want 18 to 34, period, young for young's sake. What the reader of our paper is and always has been is more of psychographic and a lifestyle."

Continue ReadingRedEye Hasn’t Hurt Reader’s Existing Advertising

The publisher of alternative weeklies in Chicago and Washington is talking with Todd A. Savage, a former Reader contributor who lives in Amsterdam, about starting an alt-weekly in the Netherlands, Crain's Chicago Business reports. Savage would be editor and publisher. "We hope it happens," Publisher Jane Levine tells Crain's. The Reader views it more as an investment in Savage's publication than the Reader starting its own European publication, Levine tells AAN News. Chicago Reader Inc. also has a stake in Seattle's Index Newspapers, which publishes The Stranger and the Portland Mercury.

Continue ReadingChicago Reader Inc. Considers Investment in European Alt-Weekly