In its December newsletter, the Alternative Weekly Network announced that "each of the five [Village Voice Media] markets already boasts existing or new publications locked up and ready to include on AWN sales presentations." The new publications include Minneapolis' The Rake, New York's L Magazine, and Nashville's Gannett-owned All The Rage. In addition, AWN hopes to land Seattle's The Stranger, which is currently a Ruxton Media Group paper.

Continue ReadingAWN Plugs Holes in VVM Markets

The December issue contains a lengthy feature on the Louisville Eccentric Observer and its competitor for advertising dollars, Velocity. Velocity is a weekly arts & entertainment tabloid that was spun off from Gannett's local daily, the Courier-Journal. The paper's editor, Jim Lenehan, is confident his faux-alt will attract young readers: "We did a lot of focus groups that told us that this was what they really wanted to see -- that this was the kind of thing they would pick up week after week." (The article is not available on Louisville Magazine's Web site, but the publication kindly allowed us to post a PDF here.)

Continue ReadingLouisville Magazine Compares LEO and Gannett-Owned Weekly

TDN was launched last year by the local Gannett daily, The Greenville News, and now controls about 400 retail locations in the area. Many of those retailers had previously distributed now-defunct AAN member MetroBeat for free, but when TDN took over, MetroBeat was forced out, making way for Gannett's faux-alt Link, and several other free publications. Alt-weeklies across the country are increasingly facing similar exclusive rack programs operated by large companies like Trader and DistribuTech. Marty Levine reports on how some AAN papers are working around -- or making the most of -- the arrangement.

Continue ReadingGannett Creates Free-Paper Distribution Company in Greenville