Nil Hira Saptahik and its English-language edition, Blue Diamond Weekly, officially launched on Jan. 21. The papers will give a "voice" to minorities, including gays and lesbians, and will cover sensitive issues like HIV/AIDS, reports UK Gay News. "The aim is to bring the voice of oppressed communities to public attention and to sensitize the public at large on the issues that have been marginalized in Nepali society," says Sunil Babu Pant, founder of the Blue Diamond Society. The publications are a joint venture of the society and the British Embassy in Kathmandu.

Continue ReadingNepal’s First Alt-Weeklies Launch

Twelve former employees of the Cleveland Free Times have filed a lawsuit in Ohio against New Times and Village Voice Media, reports the San Francisco Bay Guardian. The suit is the latest fallout from an October 2002 deal between the two companies that shuttered Free Times and New Times Los Angeles. The deal led to a Justice Department antitrust investigation that culminated in a consent decree in which neither company admitted guilt. The suit alleges that the workers who lost their jobs when the two papers closed were terminated illegally; the lawyer who filed the suit is seeking class-action certification.

Continue ReadingNew Times and VVM Face New Lawsuit over L.A.-Cleveland Deal

Last week, Avalon Equity Partners shut down New York Sports Express. "There was a struggle, and in the end someone in the accounting department reached for a knife," Matt Taibbi writes in New York Press, an AAN-member paper that is also owned by Avalon. The Express dared to take sports not too seriously, Taibbi writes, and Express editor Spike Vrusho recognized "that Karim Garcia, while not a very good baseball player, was a comic gold mine and needed to be in print as much as possible."

Continue ReadingNew York Press’s Sister Sports Paper Disappears

The last issue of The Local Planet, an AAN-member paper in Spokane, Wash., was distributed July 8. A year ago, publisher Matt Spaur's wife, founding editor Connye Miller, died, and Spaur said he no longer had the interest or energy to keep publishing. During the "feisty" paper's four-year run, it "poked at Spokane's conservative establishment and took readers on irreverent romps through the region's political, music and dating scenes," The Spokesman-Review's John Stucke writes. Spokane is home to another AAN member, The Pacific Northwest Inlander.

Continue ReadingOne of Spokane’s Alt-Weeklies Stops Publishing

It's an extra challenge to be alternative in a town where marijuana coffee shops and prostitutes posing in brothel windows are the norm. Todd Savage, a former Chicago Reader freelancer, didn't let that daunt him. He debuted his new English-language alt-weekly in the Netherlands' largest city this week. The Reader is a major investor in the enterprise.

Continue ReadingAmsterdam Weekly Debuts with Help from Chicago Reader

The struggling Duluth, Minn., alternative newsweekly marked its fifth birthday by announcing that the Dec. 30 issue would be its last weekly one. In February, Ripsaw will be recast as a glossy monthly arts and news magazine. By adding more local news and coverage of the symphony and ballet, the publication hopes to appeal to readers in their 40s and 50s as well as its present core audience of 18- to 35-year-olds, Publisher/Editor Brad Nelson tells the Duluth News Tribune. News Tribune Publisher Marti Buscaglia sees an opportunity to lure some of Ripsaw's young readers back to the daily paper. (The News Tribune Web site doesn't permit a direct link to the article.)

Continue ReadingRipsaw Goes Monthly

The small, 24,000 circulation weekly, founded in 1996, appears to have published its final issue sometime around mid-August, reports John Ferri. The Reporter was hit hard by 9/11 and the brutal Pacific Northwest recession, which cut its annual revenue in half, according to the paper's owners. When talks to sell the weekly fell through, the undercapitalized paper couldn't hang on.

Continue ReadingFormer AAN Paper Tacoma Reporter Folds

Lather Weekly, a 9-month-old arts and entertainment publication founded by a former Independent Weekly editor, is dead. Mark Hornburg started the biweekly publication in December, hoping to reach "the Raleigh hipster scene," according to Joanna Kakissis of The News & Observer. Hornburg says the August 7-20 issue will be the paper's last, though he says he plans to revive the publication online. Lather's demise was announced only four days after the News & Observer ran a 2200-word feature story (see below) about the fledgling paper.

Continue ReadingRaleigh A&E Paper Folds