The "buy local" and community-building philosophy the Express has been practicing since its ownership change in 2007 has paid off, publisher Jody Colley tells the Newspaper Association of America newsletter Big Ideas. "Since we've taken an active role in supporting and producing community events and working with the business community, we're now referred to as the 'media of record' for our area," she says. "The Express is typically approached first for business opportunities, story leads and advertising buys."

Continue ReadingLocal Push Has Helped East Bay Express Become Voice of its Community

Joe Grafton, the executive director of Somerville Local First, interviews East Bay Express publisher Jody Colley and Austin Chronicle editor Louis Black for a piece in Boston's Weekly Dig about the local movement across the country. Colley talks about the campaign she organized last year that encouraged alt-weekly readers across the country to do their holiday shopping locally, and Black discusses the "symbiotic" relationship the Chronicle has with the local business community. Grafton has posted fuller interview clips of both of them on his Shift Across America blog.

Continue ReadingTwo Alt-Weekly Leaders Talk About Their ‘Local First’ Efforts

Phoenix New Times and East Bay Express both made the cut this year. News Times got the nod (subscription-only) "for its long campaign to shine a light on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a classic desert despot," says E&P. And East Bay Express made the magazine's annual list (subscription-only) as a result of its focus on "localization" and community-building. "It's a highly transportable idea," publisher Jody Colley tells E&P.

Continue ReadingTwo AAN Papers Make E&P’s ’10 That Do It Right’

On Friday night, the alt-weekly teamed up with record store Amoeba Music, art collective Off Space and the de Young Museum to bring the pop artist's famed Manhattan art studio to the East Bay for a free party attended by "as many as 4,000 people." Rotating crews of 15-30 people spent more than a month transforming the recently vacated warehouse -- Express sales and marketing director Terry Furry himself spent two weeks building the red couch, and another week making a proto-disco coffee table from 1,800 tiny mirrors. "When I was in art school, Warhol was mainly frowned on for being commercial and marketing himself," Furry says. "But he kind of set the tone for what artists need to be to thrive. They need to market themselves as well as their art."

Continue ReadingEast Bay Express Helps Recreate Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory

To help promote the Shop Local campaign that publisher Jody Colley is spearheading, the Express has made a public service announcement video featuring a number of local merchants. Editor & Publisher's Mark Fitzgerald notes that "there's an appropriately indie-folk soundtrack, though I'll confess I'm not hip enough to identify the uncredited singer."

Continue ReadingEast Bay Express Releases Promo Video for ‘Shop Local’ Campaign

The readers of more than 70 alternative newspapers are being urged to spend at least $100 of their holiday money this fall at locally owned stores in their communities -- a move that could pump more than $2.9 billion into urban economies during this recession-plagued season. The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, the American Independent Business Alliance, and East Bay Express publisher Jody Colley helped develop the unprecedented project, and AAN helped line up 73 North American papers to participate. "If every one of the 17.5 million readers of these weeklies were to spend just $100 with local, independently owned merchants, the impact would be enormous," Colley says.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Seek to Help the Economy by Promoting Local Shopping

Jody Colley left her position as advertising director at the San Francisco Bay Guardian to become publisher of the East Bay Express when the paper was sold by Village Voice Media to local investors in May 2007. Since then, the Express has been working on a variety of distribution-related changes: Introducing graffiti-painted art racks, fighting newspaper theft by hiring a private eye, and trying to distribute a higher percentage of papers indoors. Express president Hal Brody has even patented a system that prevents people from taking more than a few papers out of a news box at a time. Colley recently talked to AAN News about these and other developments. For more from Jody Colley, check out her Q&A with newspaper consultant Terry Garrett on his blog.

Continue ReadingEast Bay Express Publisher Talks Distribution Strategy

All of the members who have announced their candidacies are thus far running unopposed. However, AAN bylaws do not require individuals to declare their intention to run in advance. Any regular members who are interested in seeking a seat on the board can be nominated from the floor at the annual meeting, which will be held on Saturday, June 7, during the association's annual meeting in Philadelphia. Read here to find out who has announced they are running, why they want to serve on the board, and what they view as the important issues facing AAN and its members.

Continue ReadingTen Candidates Running for Election to AAN Board of Directors