Times-Shamrock Communications this week announced plans to begin passing operational control of the company to the fourth generation of the Lynett-Haggerty family. Four family members will join publisher William R. Lynett as chief executive officers, since they've completed the company's Management Development Program, a four-year track that provides future Times-Shamrock leaders with experience in each of its three major divisions as well as a year interning at an outside media company. The company, through its Times-Shamrock Alternative Newsweekly Group, owns AAN members Baltimore City Paper, Metro Times, Orlando Weekly, and the San Antonio Current. Of the new CEOs, Scott Lynett and Bobby Lynett spent time working at City Paper; while George V. Lynett Jr. put in three years at the Current. In addition, City Paper promotions manager Greg Lynett will now take the helm as publisher of The Citizens Voice in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Continue ReadingNew Generation Taking Times-Shamrock Helm

That seems to be the opinion of Ed Avis, who looks at the challenges alt-weekly owners are facing in a piece for Quill, a magazine published by the Society for Professional Journalists. Not surprisingly, he says the biggest challenge to the business is the internet. He talks to the Austin Chronicle's Louis Black, Creative Loafing's Ben Eason, and Times Shamrock's Don Farley to see where they are at in relation to the internet, and, more importantly, where they're trying to go. Ultimately, Avis thinks that the challenge of the online market -- in concert with the aging of the original alt-weekly founders -- is what's behind the industry's increased consolidation. Northwestern University professor and Academy for Alternative Journalism director Charles Whitaker agrees. "I think the (older owners) have had difficulty adjusting and figuring out the new media landscape, particularly the internet and things like Craigslist," he says. "At the same time, a group of new owners said, 'We can do this as a chain. We still have our alternative press sensibilities, but by pooling our resources we can run these papers more efficiently than they had been run in the past.'"

Continue ReadingIs a ‘Generational Shift’ Afoot in the Alt-Weekly Industry?

An unnamed industry source tells the Weekly's Steve Volk that a group led by Richard L. Connor is among the bidders for his paper. Connor, the editor and publisher of the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., led a group of investors last year in the purchase of that paper from the McClatchy Co. "Another company frequently mentioned among industry insiders as a potential bidder is Times-Shamrock Communications," Volk says, but the company says it has "no involvement." Times-Shamrock owns AAN members Baltimore City Paper, Detroit's Metro Times, Orlando Weekly, and the San Antonio Current, among other publications. Village Voice Media and Philadelphia Media Holdings have also been named as companies interested in purchasing the Weekly.

Continue ReadingMore Potential Buyers for Philadelphia Weekly Named

The Alternative Weekly Network announces six new members, including the Times Shamrock Alternative Newsweekly Group's four alt-weeklies, which moved over from the Ruxton Group. Three of the papers -- San Antonio Current, Detroit's Metro Times and Orlando Weekly (all except Baltimore City Paper) -- were former AWN members that shifted to Ruxton when their parent company, Alternative Media, Inc., was purchased by Times Shamrock in 1999. "They’re back now…and we could not be more pleased," AWN says in its September newsletter.

Continue ReadingTimes Shamrock Papers Move to AWN

"I feel horrible about this, really," says Scott Mervis, who joined In Pittsburgh in its early days and now edits the weekly "Mag" pull-out at the local daily. "In Pittsburgh was an institution that got built up over 17 years and for it to disappear overnight is an incredible loss, I think." Several other former IP staffers agree, including Pittsburgh City Paper Editor Andy Newman, who pays his respects to the paper that introduced alternative journalism to Pittsburgh.

Continue ReadingRIP, In Pittsburgh (1984-2001)

In what he calls his final duty as editor of In Pittsburgh, Stephen Segal says farewell to readers in a column published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I still can't get over how lucky, how tremendously privileged I've been to be part of the team" at In Pittsburgh, he writes. The paper was sold last week to cross-town rival Pittsburgh City Paper.

Continue ReadingIn Pittsburgh Editor Says Good-bye