In an area as large as Los Angeles, there are plenty of opportunities to serve niches, says Group Publisher David Comden, who recently launched two new weeklies in the market. Southland has assembled an all-star cast of alternative journalism veterans at LA CityBEAT and ValleyBEAT, and with the company's paper in Pasadena, now circulates 140,000 papers each week in the L.A. basin. Comden says he'll offer low-price options to advertisers and an "alternative to the alternative" for LA's younger readers.
The ink is barely dry on the sale of SLAMM, a San Diego music biweekly, but the new owners have set Aug. 21 as the launch date for a new redesigned alternative newspaper, San Diego CityBeat. The new weekly will target the 21- to 45-year-old crowd and San Diego's central university and historic neighborhoods, Publisher Charles Gerencser says. "I wouldn't have moved my pregnant wife and sold my house in Los Angeles, where I've lived my whole life, if I didn't think this was going to be an amazingly successful venture," Gerencser says.
David Comden, group publisher of the renamed Southland Publishing Inc. (formerly Ventura Newspaper, Inc.), says San Diego is a “big-boy market.” The purchase of SLAMM, a San Diego music biweekly, gives Southland a chance to play in the big boys’ lot. Comden says it’s likely SLAMM will be transformed into a AAN-style alternative newsweekly.
Charles Gerencser, former publisher of New Times Los Angeles, has been named publisher of Pasadena Weekly, one of the seven papers that were admitted to AAN last month. Gerencser comes to the alt pub from NuSign Industries and will help lead Ventura Newspaper Inc.'s efforts in the Los Angeles suburbs, says Group Publisher David Comden.