The Independent Weekly won seven total awards this year from the North Carolina Press Association, including the Hugh Morton Photographer of the Year, the highest honor given in the photography category. That award for non-daily photographers went to the paper's D.L. Anderson for the second year in a row, with the judges praising him for having "an eye for the unique, a great sense of composition, a technical touch and a natural knack." The Indy also placed first in the Online Breaking News, Best Video, General Excellence Website and Criticism categories. Mountain XPress took home two awards, including a first place win for Best Multimedia Project, and Creative Loafing (Charlotte) received one award.

Continue ReadingThree North Carolina AAN Members Nab State Press Awards

Mara Shalhoup's BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family, which is being published by St. Martin's Press, is due to hit stores next week. The book springs from Shalhoup's 2006 award-winning three-part series in Creative Loafing (Atlanta), "BMF: Hip-hop's shadowy empire," which examined the rise of the Black Mafia Family, a cocaine-trafficking network with ties to a music label and various violent crimes in Atlanta. BMF leaders Big Meech and his brother Southwest T are each currently serving 30-year sentences.

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing Editor’s Award-Winning Reporting Spawns Book

Alison Draper, who was publisher of the Dallas Observer between 2002 and 2006, has been named the new vice president and chief sales officer of Creative Loafing, Inc. She will report to CL CEO Marty Petty, and will be based in the company's Chicago office. "We're all aware of the decline in the influence of daily newspapers and in their circulation and advertising sales," Draper says in a release. "I'm convinced that Creative Loafing's newspapers and websites can attract the readers and serve the advertisers who find daily newspapers irrelevant."

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing Brings on Former Dallas Observer Publisher

Mara Shalhoup, who was named the paper's new editor-in-chief last month, says she hopes to eventually bring back the investigative pieces and longer stories that have mostly disappeared from the alt-weekly. "The in-depth, investigative pieces, they take time, and they take resources, and right now those are two things that can be of short supply," she tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We were under the gun to build page views and have a bigger presence online. We couldn't do both at the same time." Shalhoup also notes that she will likely be hiring more staff soon, a move that CL's new ownership team says it fully supports.

Continue ReadingNew Creative Loafing (Atlanta) Editor Talks About What’s Ahead

Shalhoup, who has been with the paper since 2000, will move into the EIC role from her current position as senior editor. "With Mara's rich history in the community and deep knowledge of journalism and Atlanta, she is the perfect choice to lead our editorial team," Creative Loafing (Atlanta) publisher Luann Labedz says. "Mara is a standout executive who has been a leader in innovation and is a great example of the paper's next generation of leaders."

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing (Atlanta) Names Mara Shalhoup Editor in Chief

Marty Petty, who was named the six-paper company's first post-bankruptcy CEO in November, has been dubbed one of the people to watch in the Tampa Bay business scene by the St. Petersburg Times. "Petty has her work cut out for her. Any newspaper is a business challenge in these lean days. Creative Loafing faces direct competition from tbt* Tampa Bay Times, the free, Monday-through-Friday alt-like tabloid that belongs to the St. Petersburg Times," the Times reports. "But Petty, 57, now controls a geographically diverse audience with five other alts published in Sarasota, Charlotte, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, DC. Let the games begin."

Continue ReadingNew Creative Loafing CEO Named One of ‘Ten People to Watch’ in 2010

The Pinellas County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union recently gave the Irene Miller Vigilance in Journalism award to Wayne Garcia for his work as political editor at Creative Loafing (Tampa). The chapter's board members unanimously chose Garcia, who left CL to teach at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications this summer, for his "clear objective reporting of the actions of government," chapter president Thom Foley says. "As soon as the name was mentioned, it was like a ripple of 'Oh, that's perfect!' It was an instantaneous unanimous decision."

Continue ReadingEx-Political Editor Gets Local ACLU Award for Work at Creative Loafing

Like several other alt-weeklies, Creative Loafing (Tampa) has put together a holiday auction to raise funds for a local nonprofit, but with a new twist: Cover space, a news story and a restaurant review in the paper are among the items up for bid. "This is our way of saying 'This is not how we do business,'" editor David Warner tells the St. Petersburg Times. "Just this once, you'll see what you get if our content actually is for sale. It's ironic, unchartered (sic) territory."

Continue ReadingCreative Loafing (Tampa) Sells Cover, Editorial Space in Holiday Auction