Ben Eason, CEO of Creative Loafing Inc., confirmed last week that his company's board has agreed to buy out Cox's minority stake in the alt-weekly chain, Steve Fennessy reports in Creative Loafing Atlanta. In addition to the Atlanta paper, the alt-weekly chain publishes newspapers in Charlotte, Tampa and Sarasota. Cox bought a 25 percent stake in Creative Loafing in 2000, but friction resulted when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Cox-owned daily, launched its own free entertainment weekly last year. Eason says that if all goes well, the deal could be completed by mid-July.

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing Seeks to Be Free of Cox Enterprises

The former publisher of the Seattle Weekly will begin his new dual role in April. He succeeds Jane Levine, who will remain with the Reader but step aside from day-to-day operations after 10 years as its publisher and chief operating officer. Crystal will also serve as COO of Washington City Paper, the Reader’s sister publication in Washington, D.C. Crystal and Levine once worked together at Seattle Weekly, both as vice presidents.

Continue ReadingMichael Crystal to Become Publisher and COO of Chicago Reader

It's an extra challenge to be alternative in a town where marijuana coffee shops and prostitutes posing in brothel windows are the norm. Todd Savage, a former Chicago Reader freelancer, didn't let that daunt him. He debuted his new English-language alt-weekly in the Netherlands' largest city this week. The Reader is a major investor in the enterprise.

Continue ReadingAmsterdam Weekly Debuts with Help from Chicago Reader

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.

Continue ReadingSouthland Won’t Compete Head-to-Head With LA Weekly

"You need this," claims the debut editorial as Southland Publishing launches two new alternative papers in the Los Angeles area after buying the assets of New Times L.A. "In recent years local readers have experienced their own pain when two local weeklies -- the Los Angeles Reader and the New Times L.A. -- were prematurely shuttered for no reason other than financial expediency," the editorial states. "They mattered, and then they were gone." For their part, the mantra of LA CityBEAT and ValleyBEAT is "to explore, to challenge, and to celebrate the substance and irreverence of our vast city."

Continue ReadingLA CityBEAT, ValleyBEAT Debut

The Board of Directors of Creative Loafing, Inc., announced that it will investigate two of its directors from Cox Newspapers, Inc., owner of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The question is whether the two directors used the confidential board meetings to learn enough about publishing alternative newsweeklies to launch "accessAtlanta" as a direct competitor to Creative Loafing (Atlanta).

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing to Investigate Cox Board Members

Howard Blume says no "upstart" among the "lower-budget alternatives" springing up in the LA Basin will challenge LA Weekly citywide. The paper has fired Valley Business Printers, owner of its newest competitor, Southland Publishing Co., Blume reports. Southland purchased the assets of the closed New Times LA, plans a summer launch of weeklies in L.A. and the Valley, and has hired Editorial Art Director Dana Collins away from LA Weekly. Plus former LA Weekly Publisher Michael Sigman is consulting with Southland, Blume writes.

Continue ReadingLA Weekly Dissects Competitors

Southland Publishing's David Comden announces that his company successfully bid for the New Times LA assets that were put up for sale in the wake of the consent decree signed by New Times after a Department. of Justice investigation of the paper's closure. According to Comden, Southland, which owns AAN members Pasadena Weekly and Ventura County Reporter as well as applying paper San Diego CityBeat, "plans to open two (Los Angeles) newsweeklies, CityBeat LA and ValleyBeat, by summer."

Continue ReadingSouthland to Debut Two LA Weeklies This Summer

Eric Benjamin, a 20-year alternative newsweekly veteran, becomes associate publisher of Gambit Weekly. The Boston native played a significant role in the growth of the alternative newsweekly industry as board president and founding board member of Alternative Weekly Network, which represents more than 120 alternative newsweeklies nationwide. He comes to Gambit directly from New Mass Media, where he was national sales director.

Continue ReadingBenjamin Joins Gambit Weekly