Creative Loafing (Tampa) political editor Wayne Garcia says the plan, filed Monday in the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, makes the case for keeping the company in the hands of CEO Ben Eason. "The Debtor believes retention of existing senior management and existing publishers, editors, directors of shared services and key online personnel are vital to successful implementation of this strategy as the markets are shifting very quickly at this time," the plan reads. CL also filed a 10-year financial forecast and an analysis of how much the company would bring if it were liquidated. Read more from Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy.

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing Files Reorganization Plan

That's what sources tell Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy about the first court date of the company's bankruptcy protection hearings. Next week, CL CEO Ben Eason has to submit his restructuring plan, which will then be discussed in court. In other CL-related news, The Sunday Paper's publisher and investor answer some questions about that paper's proposed expansion into two more CL cities (Charlotte and Tampa).

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing’s Day in Court ‘Was Pretty Humdrum’

Cooper Levey-Baker took over as editor last month, after a stint as a field organizer for the Obama campaign in Sarasota County. Levey-Baker started at CL as an intern in 2004, and then worked as events editor, music writer, and arts writer until he left to work for Obama this year. "I'm really looking forward to engage more with local politics here in the area," he tells AAN News, "and to improve both our paper and the website so that we become the hub for the cool side of Sarasota."

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing (Sarasota) Has a New Editor

The Sunday Paper publisher Patrick Best announced his plans on Friday, citing the troubles of Creative Loafing -- which owns papers in Atlanta, Charlotte and Tampa -- as a major reason. "While we planned to go to both of these markets in the next few years, the troubles of the parent company of the major newsweeklies in both cities have convinced us to accelerate our plans," he says. Best, who was Creative Loafing (Atlanta)'s advertising director before launching The Sunday Paper, recently offered CL CEO Ben Eason $1 million for the Loaf's Atlanta publication. Best's expansion plans are being helped by funding from Brian Conley, the former owner of Knoxville, Tenn., AAN member Metro Pulse and current shareholder of Sunday Paper Publishing. Meanwhile, Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy reports that Eason's main creditor filed a motion (PDF) on Friday claiming CL has not been forthcoming in explaining budgets and cash flow forecasts. The CL bankruptcy protection case is scheduled to go before a judge on Wednesday.

Continue ReadingAtlanta Weekly Looks to Expand to Charlotte and Tampa by May 2009

In a farewell message to former Creative Loafing (Atlanta) editor Ken Edelstein, staffer Mara Shalhoup writes: "I think I speak for everyone here when I say, 'Thank you for giving me a chance. Thank you for working me hard. And thank you for making Creative Loafing aim higher. You will be missed.'" Edelstein, who had been with the paper for a decade, was fired last week after a reportedly "heated meeting" with CEO Ben Eason on implementing editorial cuts.

Continue ReadingEditor’s Departure Leaves ‘a Hole at the Heart’ of Creative Loafing

Tara Servatius will host a political radio show on Charlotte's WBT-AM from 3-6 pm, replacing Jeff Katz, "whose conservative zeal and verbal swordsmanship have been a mainstay of afternoon drive time for two years," according to the Charlotte Observer. Servatius stepped down as a CL staff writer, but remained as a columnist, when she was hired by the radio station in May 2007. She previously had been in the station's 9 pm-midnight slot. "She spends hours combing through the files researching her points," Rick Jackson, WBT general manager says. "People want facts rather than someone spouting an opinion. We may see a new kind of a talk show host in Tara."

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing (Charlotte) Columnist Takes Over Afternoon Radio Slot

Patrick Best, who spent four years as CL's advertising director before starting rival publication The Sunday Paper, told Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy last week he's willing to pay Ben Eason $1 million for Creative Loafing (Atlanta). Fennessy notes that it is unclear whether the purchase would even be possible, given CL's Chapter 11 status, but Best says "it's not unusual for businesses that are in bankruptcy to sell off pieces of their company in order to raise capital." MORE on Creative Loafing: Former senior editor (and current shareholder) John Sugg writes about CL's "death spiral," and Creative Loafing's Mara Shalhoup responds. And departing senior writer Andisheh Nouraee discusses why he is leaving with Atlanta Progressive News.

Continue ReadingFormer Creative Loafing Ad Director Offers $1 Million for Atlanta Paper

Andisheh Nouraee submitted his resignation to publisher Luann Lebedz just hours after Lebedz fired editor Ken Edelstein yesterday, Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy reports. Nouraee, who began freelancing for the paper in 2000 and joined the staff in 2007, says his decision was prompted only in part by Edelstein's dismissal. "What happened today is just one symptom of the overall reason, that I don't want to work there full-time anymore," he says. His last day will be Dec. 5.

Continue ReadingSenior Writer to Leave Creative Loafing (Atlanta)

Ken Edelstein was fired today after a decade as an editor at Creative Loafing's flagship paper, according to Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy. Edelstein reportedly had a "heated meeting" last week with CL CEO Ben Eason over the implementation of further editorial cuts. "The meeting made it clear that Ben and I have very deep philosophical differences about what's best for the company and its employees," Edelstein tells Fennessy. More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing (Atlanta) Editor Fired

Atalaya Capital Management, which lent CL's Ben Eason $30 million to buy the Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper, has filed a motion (pdf file) asking that Eason not be allowed to hire the investment banking firm Skyway Capital Partners to help him emerge from bankruptcy. The main thrusts of Atalaya's argument are that Skyway is not a disinterested party, that Skyway's role will extend beyond mere financial advising into possibly brokering a sale of CL, and that Skyway is not a competent financial advisor. More from the Reader's Michael Miner.

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing Creditor Objects to Hiring of Financial Advisor