Richard Karpel, who joined the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies as its executive director in July 1995, is leaving AAN for the same position at the American Society of News Editors. His last day will be Nov. 25, although he has agreed to help the association in an unofficial capacity after that date to assist in the transition to a new staff chief executive. "I have been at AAN for the better part of my adult life, and it has been an incredible ride," he says. "I want to thank all of the AAN members past and present who have made my time here such a rich and rewarding experience." MORE: Here's ASNE's announcement.
That's what the Yale Daily News finds in a report on how three local news organizations are faring in the downturn. While the Advocate's "circulation is steady," as managing editor John Stoehr points out, publisher Joshua Mamis admits that the paper's page count has decreased. Mamis also notes that although the paper has lost some national advertisers, many local advertisers have remained loyal.
After a one-year absence, both AAN West and the Web Publishing Conference are slated to return to the Bay Area this winter. The Web Publishing Conference will begin with a social event on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 27, and will end on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 29. AAN West will begin that afternoon in Berkeley, with programming continuing all day on Saturday, Jan. 30.
"Sales may be flat, bookstores may be struggling and book sections may be dying, but the critical conversation about books continues to be robust, intelligent and adventurous," former San Francisco Chronicle book critic Patricia Holt writes on Huffington Post. She points to six websites as proof, including AltWeeklies.com, of which she writes: "If you're weary of the received wisdom of official book review sites ... here is a treasury of refreshing and often unpredictable takes from alternative weeklies all over the country."
Jeffrey Billman, who won first place for investigative reporting in the under-50,000 circulation category for his Orlando Weekly piece "Might Makes Right," will discuss the story with Weekly editor Bob Whitby in a conversation moderated by the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Tim Redmond. Like last week, the live chat will happen right here on AAN.org and will take place Friday at 3 pm EDT.
Earlier this month, AAN's news portal website AltWeeklies.com launched two new ways for readers to check out the great work featured on the site. Now, in addition to the site's myriad (and customizable) RSS feeds, Twitter users can sign up to receive all News and/or Culture headlines from the site in an automated feed. To see the feeds in action or to sign up as a follower, visit AltWeeklyCulture and AltWeeklyNews on Twitter. All the while, AAN's main Twitter account will continue to highlight at least one significant story on AltWeeklies.com each day.
The series debuts here on AAN.org this Friday, Sept. 25, with investigative reporting winner John Dickerson discussing his Phoenix New Times series "Prescription for Disaster" with New Times managing editor Amy Silverman. The conversation, which will begin at 3 pm EST, will be moderated by Folio Weekly editor Anne Schindler.
Following up last year's well-rated inaugural conference, AAN is putting on another Publishers Conference this fall. It will be held Nov. 13-14 at the Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, S.C. The program, which will be finalized by mid-October, will feature two or three big-picture speakers and lots of time for formal and informal discussion among the publishers who attend.
In the past, AAN's editorial committee has initiated and overseen a number of editorial projects for use in multiple markets. This year, however, the committee is approaching shared projects in a slightly different way and offering four $500 payments for stories from AAN papers that can be used in other markets.
Starting this week, book reviews and profiles posted on AltWeeklies.com are also being featured on Indiebound.org, a website run by the American Booksellers Association. AltWeeklies.com content will appear, when it exists, on the information page for an individual book title. For examples of this partnership in action, click here and here.