When a news website in Pasadena made headlines last year for its decision to outsource City Hall coverage to reporters in India, the group managing editor of the Hartford Advocate, New Haven Advocate and Fairfield County Weekly wondered if his three alt-weeklies could do the same thing. While John Adamian's idea started as a joke, it quickly led to an actual exercise in outsourcing journalism -- and the results are this week's papers, which have been mostly generated by Indian freelancers. The papers say the experiment proves that outsourcing a local newspaper is possible, but not recommended. "Call us old-school, but we think good, old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism is worth the price," the staff writes in an editors' note. "Outsourcing could certainly fill pages, probably very cheaply, but what's lost is the very essence of local newspapers: presence."

Continue ReadingConnecticut Alt-Weeklies Outsource This Week’s Issue

The embattled Tribune Company, which owns three AAN papers, has hired an investment bank and law firm in recent days to advise the company on a possible trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Tribune owns the Fairfield County Weekly, Hartford Advocate and New Haven Advocate. Sources tell the Journal that a filing could come as early as this week. UPDATE (4:05 pm): The company did indeed file for bankruptcy protection today, and will stop making interest payments on $12 billion in debt as it attempts to restructure its loans, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Continue ReadingTribune Co. Reportedly Considering Bankruptcy Filing

AAN News has learned that Tom Gogola is no longer the editor of the Tribune Company's AAN-member paper in suburban Connecticut. No replacement has been named. Associate editor Nick Keppler has temporarily assumed the editorial reins, according to Josh Mamis, group publisher for the Weekly and the three other New Mass. Media papers.

Continue ReadingFairfield County Weekly Parts Ways With Editor

Two Bridgeport, Ct. police officers have been suspended following a complaint made by Fairfield County Weekly's Tom Gogola that they were drinking at a bar while on duty, according to the Connecticut Post. Gogola recalls the evening's events in a story that describes one cop joking, "I can't drink and drive ... I'm on duty," then later taking a bag of marijuana out of his pocket and telling the bartender: "We confiscated some weed ... I'll roll you a special cigarette. It'll make you feel better."

Continue ReadingCivilian Complaint from Alt-Weekly Editor Leads to Cops’ Suspension

This week’s edition of Westchester County Weekly will be its last as a separate publication. Beginning next week, it will be folded into its sister publication, Fairfield County Weekly. About 30,000 readers in Westchester County, N.Y., will get their own cover with the old nameplate, but the content of the two alternative newsweeklies will be identical. Fran Zankowski, CEO and group publisher of Advocate*Weekly Newspapers, tells the staff in a memo that they made a “valiant attempt” to save the paper, but it was just not profitable enough to stand alone.

Continue ReadingAdvocate Weekly Combines Two Papers