The city of Cincinnati and a coalition of local religious and nonprofit leaders led by Citizens for Community Values (CCV) have settled a federal lawsuit filed last year by CityBeat after the groups and law enforcement leaders had publicly asked the paper to stop publishing adult-oriented classified ads. "After a long year of fighting for our First Amendment right to publish CityBeat without government interference, I'm pleased and gratified to wrap up the legal proceedings on such a positive note," co-publisher and editor John Fox writes. While he admits that fighting the suit was "distracting at times," Fox says there was a principle to uphold. "I remain convinced that standing up to the CCV coalition's threats and intimidation was the right thing to do," he writes. "After all, the only reason bullies do what they do is because they think they can get away with it."

Continue ReadingCoalition Settles Suit With Cincinnati CityBeat

The entire staff of CiN Weekly, the free weekly published by Gannett property The Enquirer, was let go yesterday. "Over the last few days, they've been re-stickering the outdoor plastic boxes with Metromix labels," Cincinnati CityBeat editor and co-publisher John Fox tells Editor & Publisher. Gannett has made similar moves with faux-alts in Nashville and Indianapolis. On Twitter, Enquirer editor Tom Callinan confirms the change: "CiN in print and online will continue with Metromix as dominant brand," he writes. "That does not lessen the sadness of layoffs."

Continue ReadingGannett Folds Faux-Alt Into Metromix Brand in Cincy

CityBeat has filed a federal lawsuit against a number of local government officials and a coalition of local religious and nonprofit leaders led by Citizens for Community Values (CCV) who last month publicly asked the paper to stop publishing adult-oriented classified ads. The suit charges the coalition with violating the paper's First Amendment rights, conspiracy to violate its First Amendment rights and tortious interference with its business relationships. "When government officials use their position of authority to threaten a media organization with implied legal action unless a certain demand is met, that's wrong. And when CCV, ministers and nonprofit leaders conspire with government officials to threaten the media, they're wrong, too," writes CityBeat co-publisher and editor John Fox. "We've decided the only way to prevent permanent damage to our business is to ask a federal judge to intercede on our behalf and protect our right to exist."

Continue ReadingCincinnati CityBeat Files Federal Suit Against Coalition Group

Citizens for Community Values, a group that "promotes moral values," is leading a coalition that yesterday held a news conference to publicly ask the paper to stop publishing adult-oriented classified ads, CityBeat reports. The group's letter is signed by various local sheriffs, county attorneys, pastors and others. "I do find it interesting that this organization wouldn't choose to reach out to us and to communicate to us in advance versus going about it in a public way, which strikes me as somewhat self-serving," general manager and co-publisher Dan Bockrath tells the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We cooperate with authorities in every instance when they're investigating one of our advertisers." CityBeat also released a statement to the press, which notes that "just about every public official" in this coalition has been the subject of negative stories in CityBeat, and that Citizens for Community Values has worked to get distribution points to drop the paper. "We make decisions about our business every day and on our own terms," the statement reads. "We won't be bullied or intimidated by any outside force that thinks they can make those decisions for us."

Continue ReadingCoalition Group Asks Cincinnati CityBeat to Halt Adult Ads

Harvey Silverglate, who is also a civil rights attorney, appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" on Dec. 11 to discuss National Security Agency leaks. At first the conversation was surprisingly civil, with Silverglate even ribbing O'Reilly by saying, "Fair and balanced, that's my motto." Silverglate mentioned his recent Phoenix article suggesting that New York Times staff could be indicted for publishing the domestic wiretapping story: he told O'Reilly, "I received more phone calls and e-mail, hostile e-mail, about that from my friends in the news media saying, 'Don't give the Department of Justice any ideas!'" However, as discussion turned to whether exposing the wiretapping could have undermined the war on terror, the segment ended with a brief shouting match. A summary of Silverglate's appearance can be found on O'Reilly's Web site.

Continue ReadingBoston Phoenix Writer Is ‘Fair and Balanced’

The Cincinnati alt-weekly is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this week and marks the occasion with a special section that reflects upon some of the paper's noteworthy journalistic achievements -- from saving the life of an innocent man on Death Row to shining a light on a local daily's forfeiture of editorial control to the Chiquita banana company. "Fawning over ourselves with an anniversary issue makes me uncomfortable," co-publisher and editor John Fox writes. "But 10 years of being the liberal voice in a conservative town is something to celebrate."

Continue ReadingCincinnati CityBeat Hits Double-Digits

Cincinnati CityBeat has purchased a six-story downtown building and is now looking for "like-minded" tenants to share the space, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. CityBeat will pay $790,000 for the building where Hank Williams once recorded. "We just thought it would be better to buy. It was a good deal. It's a really good building, and we wanted to stay downtown," Co-Publisher and Editor John Fox tells the business paper.

Continue ReadingCityBeat Buys a Building