With medical marijuana dispensaries growing like pot plants in all areas of California, the business has become quite competitive in areas like Sacramento, KCRA-TV reports. To get ahead, many shops are advertising in the Sacramento News & Review, where the TV station reports there are many ads that include perks like free lighters and delivers, and even free grams. While the daily Sacramento Bee and more conservative Sacramento Magazine don't run dispensary ads, News & Review CEO Jeff von Kaenel says he's got no problem with doing so, adding that about 15 percent of the paper's ads are currently medical marijuana-related. "It reflects the values we have at the News & Review," he says. "We let our readers make up their own minds about things. They're mature enough, and we don't want to be a censor of business in Sacramento."

Continue ReadingSacramento News & Review Selling Lots of Medical Marijuana Ads

After a few years and a few million dollars, the paper is finally moving into its new office -- a former supermarket that it purchased and renovated using green-building standards. As News & Review publisher Jeff vonKaenel points out, the move wouldn't have been possible without about $2 million in grants, loan guarantees and other incentives from the city -- but he says that doesn't mean the paper will all of a sudden go soft in its coverage of the city and its redevelopment agency. "During my 36 years as a newspaper publisher, there have been many instances where regular advertisers have called me to complain about a story and to cancel their advertising," he writes. "Our business relationship with the city is no different."

Continue ReadingSacramento News & Review Gets Ready to Move

Local TV station KCRA reports that the News & Review is "getting through the recession better than others" like Sacramento's daily, the Bee, which, like so many other daily newspapers, has laid off scores of staffers in the past few years. "We took a dip last year but it's really picking up, and as things for the dailies get worse it's going to get even better for us," News & Review president and CEO Jeff von Kaenel tells the station.

Continue ReadingSacramento News & Review is Holding Strong Despite the Downturn

in 1996, Jeff vonKaenel wrote a widely discussed piece predicting that most daily newspapers would be out of business in ten years. Although his timing was off, there's no question he nailed the trajectory. Now he's back to ask, What comes next? His "guess" and "hope" is that weekly newspapers will survive as "a viable economic model," and journalism that is "more cutting-edge, more controversial ... (and) less locally based" will flourish online through the joint support of nonprofits, corporations and individual citizens.

Continue ReadingNews & Review Publisher: What Will Remain After the Dailies Go Away?

In November, the Sacramento News & Review launched its Face to Face Video Ad project. The ads, which have also been rolled out at the company's paper in Chico and will soon hit its Reno paper, are serious, in-depth recorded interviews with vendors about their products and services. News & Review president and CEO Jeff von Kaenel says the idea was inspired by a vacation to India with his teenage daughter, who was shooting and editing video of the trip. "The video technology had gotten so easy to use," he says, it got him thinking about how the paper could take advantage of the technological leaps. So far, the initial reaction to the project has been promising, according to Susan Cooper, sales development manager at the Sacramento paper. In this Q&A with AAN News, she talks in more detail about the project.

Continue ReadingAdding Online Video to the Sales Toolkit

Sacramento News & Review president and CEO Jeff von Kaenel was sick of the Sacramento Bee offering advertisers huge discounts in Ticket, the daily's arts and entertainment weekly insert, reports Sacramento Business Journal. So he sent out 250 letters to Bee advertisers that weren't getting discounts -- that is, Bee advertisers that hadn't been poached away from the News & Review -- citing the cheaper rates and asking, "Are you paying this?" Von Kaenel tells SBJ that he sees the discounts as the Bee's attempt to "take us out," and that the daily is "engaging in practices I believe are suspect."

Continue ReadingNews & Review Launches Counterattack on the Sacramento Bee

AlterNet recently posted an unprecedented collaborative project by 36 alternative newsweeklies across the country on the plight of married priests and the effect of that talent drain on the Catholic Church. Jeff von Kaenel, a past president of AAN and a member of the AlterNet board, conceived the project as a way to demonstrate the national reach of the alternative weekly industry. Don Hazen, executive director of AlterNet, says the project helps "the public understand that there is an industry out there that is independent of the traditional, corporate media; and ... that when you go from city to city, you have a newspaper that represents that."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Cooperate on Married Priest Project