Euro RSCG has done a print and poster campaign for the Chicago alt-weekly, Sun-Times media and marketing columnist Lewis Lazare reports. Euro RSCG's chief creative officer says the deal is being paid mostly in barter, but it included enough cash to hire local photographer Ross Feighery, who Lazare says "has done a smash-up job shooting the campaign visuals."

Continue ReadingColumnist: New Ad Campaign for NewCity is ‘Bold, Eye-Catching’

AAN members are once again well-represented in the list of nominees for this year's James Beard Foundation Awards for Journalism. The finalists: L.A. Weekly's Pulitzer-prize winning critic Jonathan Gold in the Restaurant Reviews; Kristen Hinman of Riverfront Times in Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes; and the Chicago Reader's Mike Sula in Multimedia Food Journalism. Winners will be announced at a May 4 gala in New York.

Continue ReadingThree Alt-Weekly Writers Nominated for James Beard Awards

Someone at the Reader office recently found an old manifesto written by the alt-weekly's founders in 1972, and the paper published it last week on its blog. Responding to the question "Why do we continue with this crazy project?," the manifesto reads: "1) We are convinced it will be successful eventually. 2) We really enjoy our work. 3) The paper seems to be fulfilling a definite need for 'alternative' publications which are nonetheless not 'radical.' 4) We are bringing exposure to some (potentially) great writers." MORE: "[The document is] a brash artifact of an era where, all across the country, small groups of news innovators took a flyer on an untested business model and editorial format," CJR's Clint Hendler writes. "And what they birthed, the alt-weekly, became the home to some of the country's best writers and best journalism."

Continue ReadingChicago Reader Reprints 1972 ‘Manifesto’

Washington City Paper recently saved $8,000 by dropping all of its syndicated comics, the Chicago Reader's Michael Miner reports. City Paper still carries one local strip, "Dirtfarm," only because author Ben Claassen lets the paper run it for free. "City Paper feels like family to me," Claassen tells Miner by way of explanation. But Lynda Barry, who quit her "Ernie Pook's Comeek" strip, and her friend Matt Groening are feeling less familial these days about their former alt-weekly clients. Nevertheless, Groening keeps plugging away, creating "Life in Hell" every week even though his success with The Simpsons has left him financially secure. "I like sitting down once a week and knocking something out all by myself," says Groening. "The rest of my life is full of collaborators."

Continue ReadingMore on the Alt-Comics Meltdown

Ling Ma, a 2008 graduate of the Academy for Alternative Journalism, wrote this week's Chicago Reader cover story about the city's Museum of Holography and a controversial bank loan that may spell the museum's demise. The yearly academy trains young journalists in long-form feature writing with the aim of recruiting them into the alternative press. MORE: Read Ma's blog about reporting the story here.

Continue ReadingAAN Diversity-Program Alum Pens Cover Story

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.

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing Bankruptcy Hearing Delayed

Washington's only alt-weekly is putting on a full-court press as the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama draws closer. The City Paper released a 120-page special inauguration issue this week that also featured "The Obama Reader," a 16-page insert from sister paper the Chicago Reader, which has been covering Obama since 1995. (The insert was also published in the Windy City.) Publisher Amy Austin says City Paper will be doing extensive online reporting over the next several days on its inauguration aggregation page. AAN members who want a web icon to link to the ongoing inaugural coverage should email Austin at aaustin (at)

Continue ReadingWashington City Paper Capitalizes on Inauguration Fever

Louisiana's Independent Weekly reports that in 2008 it had to lay off one employee and that it recently instituted "a single digit, company-wide salary cut." The Nashville Scene says it is eliminating its books section, as well as News of the Weird and the New York Times crossword. Boise Weekly's publisher says that even though the "last quarter of 2008 was very disappointing ... it might have been the best we will see for awhile." Meanwhile, the Chicago Reader says goodbye to two of its departing editorial staffers, and Nat Hentoff talks to the New York Times about his plans post-Voice.

Continue ReadingMore Papers Tighten Belts

As the Creative Loafing bankruptcy case winds its way through the courts, Michael Miner reports that the Reader laid off more staffers last week. "Six more layoffs last Thursday reduced this paper's editorial staff to 17," Miner writes. "It was 38 when the old owners sold [Ben] Eason the paper." Creative Loafing (Tampa) also announced a handful of layoffs last week. MORE ON CL: Former Creative Loafing (Atlanta) editor Cliff Bostock offers his take on the problems at the Loaf.

Continue ReadingLayoffs Hit the Chicago Reader and Creative Loafing (Tampa)