Jonathan Meador, a freelancer for the Louisville alt-weekly, was covering a local Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner last week when he was assaulted by local businessman and GOP activist J.D. Sparks, who was apparently trying to get the reporter to stop videotaping the event. Meador will pursue charges of fourth-degree assault and menacing, both misdemeanors, against Sparks.

Continue ReadingLEO Weekly Reporter Assaulted, Files Charges

Elizabeth Kramer, a former managing editor and arts and special projects editor at the alt-weekly, has filed a suit alleging that she was subjected to a hostile work environment and sexual harassment. Kramer would not comment to the Courier-Journal, nor would editor Stephen George or former editor Cary Stemle. Kramer, who worked for LEO from September 2003-November 2007, is asking for compensatory damages for physical, emotional and mental distress, as well as compensation for lost wages and other employment benefits.

Continue ReadingFormer Editor Files Sexual Harassment Suit Against LEO Weekly

As part of a larger redesign, the paper has decided to pull listings from the printed page entirely. "We simply don't have the resources -- in people-power or page count -- to continue" printing listings, editor Stephen George writes. He notes that Louisville's Gannett papers have replaced much of their cultural reporting and criticism with listings. "We've realized that instead of trying to compete, we should fill the gaps," he writes. "Our real value to you, we believe, is our judgment and expertise on matters of arts and culture." To that end, LEO is launching a blog that will hip readers to cultural events the paper finds worthwhile.

Continue ReadingLEO Weekly Eliminates Listings from Print Edition

Lawyers representing Baptist Hospital East in a malpractice lawsuit filed by the family of hip-hop artist Static/Major contend that the privacy law known as HIPAA protects the identity of a patient who shared a room with the musician the day he died. To buttress their claim, the hospital points to a LEO Weekly cover story about the incident as an example of why the roommate's identity should be shielded. "If this patient becomes a witness to this suit, he will be subjected to similar to scrutiny (sic), and potential embarrassment," the defendants argue in a recently filed court document.

Continue ReadingHospital Cites LEO Weekly Story as Reason to Shield Witness

Two freelancers "affiliated" with AAN members are among the 23 journalists selected to participate in the fifth National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater at the USC Annenberg School for Communication. LEO Weekly's Rebecca Haithcoat and Washington City Paper's Glen Weldon will participate in the 10-day program this August.

Continue ReadingTwo Alt-Weekly Writers Receive NEA Fellowships

When the Louisville Eccentric Observer's new creative director joined the paper last year, she said it "looked crappy" and the logo was "dated and silly." Those problems were erased today when LEO hit the streets with a fresh design, coated stock and a new logo that editor Stephen George calls "mature and refined yet still with some kink." George also says the paper expanded several sections, added new features, and wrapped it all within an improved navigation scheme. The radical makeover at LEO coincides with a redesigned website that launched late last year.

Continue ReadingThe New LEO Debuts

LEO Weekly founder John Yarmuth was re-elected to Congress yesterday, where he'll continue to serve Kentucky's 3rd District. Today's Louisville Courier-Journal reports that with 99 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial vote totals had Yarmuth, a Democrat, with 59 percent of the vote and Republican challenger Anne Northup with 41. In California, San Diego Reader publisher Jim Holman once again bankrolled a ballot measure that would require doctors to notify parents before performing an abortion on a minor, and the Los Angeles Times reports that it remained too close to call Tuesday night. With four-fifths of precincts reporting last night, 52.8 of voters were opposed to the measure while 47.2 favored it, according to the AP, which says the initiative "appear[s] headed for defeat." Holman contributed more than $1.3 million of the reported $2.6 million raised for the measure, the AP reports. UPDATE (4:55 pm EST): A number of news outlets are now reporting that the ballot measure was indeed defeated.

Continue ReadingLEO Founder Re-Elected, Jim Holman’s Measure ‘Too Close to Call’ Fails

Updating their reporting every few minutes by telephone last night, City Pages' Jeff Shaw and Andy Mannix say they were "assaulted by the cops" while trying to cover a RNC protest march. Here's the play-by-play, from Shaw: "The police said we needed to leave, we showed them our press credentials. I said I was a reporter and that it was a public street. An officer struck me and knocked me backwards over a curb. I tried to get up, and three or four officers shoved me to the ground. Andy was maced." Meanwhile, The Stranger's Brendan Kiley was pepper-sprayed earlier this week at the RNC. "I've hurt myself in a lot of different ways," he reports, "but nothing hurts like pepper spray. The pain is fleeting, but it is crippling." Lastly, Sam Stoker, who attended the AAN/Medill Academy for Alternative Journalism this summer, was arrested twice this week while covering RNC protests for In These Times. He's been tapped by LEO Weekly to write a first-person account, which he's agreed to make free to AAN members to reprint. For more on Stoker's piece, contact LEO's Stephen George at sgeorge (at)

Continue ReadingCity Pages Reporters Maced, Assaulted at RNC Protest

Chris Ferrell, whose SouthComm Communications bought the Louisville alt-weekly in May, tells the 'Ville Voice that they are busy working on a redesign of LEO's website, and that there will be a lot of emphasis on the web when the new site debuts in late September. He also says that he's added one staff writer and has been working on the design of the print product. "The paper looks better now that (sic) it did three months ago," Ferrell says. "We've created a larger news hole, and we wanted to make sure we have the kind of content people expect, even when the ad/edit mix doesn't justify it."

Continue ReadingNew LEO Owner Talks About His Plans for the Paper