Jane Levine, chief operating officer of Chicago Reader, Inc., is beginning the search for a publisher, who will handle day-to-day operations. When that person is in place and trained, Levine will step back and decide what her role will be at the company. Levine has been in alternative newsweeklies since she started as an intern at the Reader in 1973. "I can't even think what the next step will look like until we have a great publisher in place and I know what their skills are," she says. "Right now there are too many trees in my way to see the forest."

Continue ReadingLevine Changing Role at Chicago Reader

Long-time General Manager Amy Austin was promoted to publisher of D.C.'s alt-weekly, taking over from Thomas Yoder, who also has responsibilities in Chicago with CP's sister paper. "I think we've gotten to the point now where this is just a mature, strong paper with not only a great person in Amy, but a good management staff under Amy," COO Jane Levine tells the Washington Business Journal.

Continue ReadingWashington City Paper Has Resident Publisher

Chicago's new weekday tabloids RedEye and Red Streak are pulling the same display advertisers as AAN members Chicago Reader and Chicago Newcity, Jeremy Mullman reports in Crain's Chicago Business. "This will have some short-term impact on the Reader," newspaper consultant Scott Stawski tells Mullman. "I believe it'll put Newcity out."

Continue ReadingChicago’s Alt-Weeklies Seeing Red

Ads for apartments have skyrocketed in the past year, Chicago Reader Classifieds Manager Brett Murphy tells Crain's Chicago Business. The jump has fueled 25 percent growth in ad volume at a time when help-wanted ads are down, and landlords who once took out a single ad to find a tenant now run one for many weeks, he tells the business newspaper.

Continue ReadingChicago Real Estate Ad Market Booming

About 120 religious activists turned out last week to protest a "blasphemous" cartoon published in the Chicago Reader, reports The Illinois Leader, which bills itself "Illinois' Conservative News Source." The cartoon in question implied immoral behavior by the Virgin Mary, the pope and Jesus, the newspaper says.

Continue ReadingCatholics Protest Reader’s Cartoon

“This book, I hope, is a book of encounters, none of them predictable,” novelist and music writer Jonathan Lethem writes in his introduction to “Da Capo Best Music Writing 2002.” Seven of the 28 articles in the collection were originally published in alternative newsweeklies, including The Village Voice, Chicago Reader and City Pages (Twin Cities).

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Writers Appear in Da Capo Collection

Tim Keck, publisher of The Stranger in Seattle, has a cash infusion from the Chicago Reader to turn up the heat on his competition. The Reader is now a minority shareholder in Index Newspapers LLC, a company formed early yesterday that now owns and operates The Stranger and The Portland Mercury in Portland, Ore. Keck’s first goal: increase circulation in both markets. “We’ve been bootstrapping it for 10 years,” Keck tells AAN News. “Now we are going to be aggressively growing the business.”

Continue ReadingChicago Reader Invests in The Stranger

Kiki Yablon, who plays guitar in a punk rock band, has been promoted to managing editor of the Chicago Reader. She has been on the Reader's staff since 1996, directing the alt-weekly's music coverage, the Chicago Sun Times reports. Editor Alison True says Yablon is "perfect" for the job and won the position over a host of outside applicants. True has also promoted three Reader associate editors to senior editor: Holly Greenhagen, Kitry Krause and Laura Molzahn.

Continue ReadingPunk Rocker Becomes Reader ME

While publicly traded media companies are laying off employees and warning Wall Street of sharply diminished returns, Chicago's free circulation papers are holding their own, Kathy Bergen of the Chicago Tribune reports. "There isn't the voracious need to satisfy shareholders and start making layoffs," Richard Karpel, executive director of AAN, tells the Trib. Chicago Reader Publisher Jane Levine tells Bergen: "Our total revenue in 2001 will be about even with 2000, and I feel blessed for that."

Continue ReadingChicago Free Papers Hold Up in Downturn