Effective Jan. 1, Chris Ferrell will take over as publisher of Nashville Scene, replacing founding publisher Albie Del Favero, who announced his retirement in July. "I hoped we could find [a successor] who was passionate not only about this paper but also about this community," says Del Favero, calling Ferrell "the ideal person for the job." Ferrell is a Nashville businessman and former Metro Council member. His hire comes on the heels of Pacific Sun's announcement regarding the appointment of another former politician, Sam Chapman, as that paper's new publisher. Chapman was chief of staff to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and a former member of the Napa County Board of Supervisors. He succeeds Steve McNamara, who recently sold the Sun after owning and operating the paper since 1966. "[Chapman] has an extraordinary varied background in journalism, law and politics, plus a longtime attachment to Marin County," says McNamara.
Scott Walsey, publisher of Creative Loafing (Atlanta), will leave the paper at the end of the year, reports CL editor-in-chief Ken Edelstein. Walsey has been at the paper for 26 years, and has served as its publisher since the 2000 merger between Weekly Planet and Creative Loafing, Inc. "He's provided employees with leadership, stability and a great sense of humor," writes Edelstein. "[Walsey is] a wise and decent person who did things like remind folks to place family and friends above work." CL's next publisher will be Scott Patterson, an experienced newspaperman who has published dailies, community papers and shoppers.
Bruce Dobie, co-founder and editor of Nashville Scene, will be leaving the paper next month. The 46-year-old father of two tells the Nashville Post that alt-weeklies "need to be young" and that he doesn't have as firm a grasp on how best to cover the city for a young audience as he once did. To adapt to the 24/7 news cycle favored by many 18-35-year-olds, he believes that the paper must establish an online presence and be willing to continually reinvent itself. Dobie's successor will be current associate editor Liz Garrigan, who's been at the Scene for eight years. "The Scene's a great paper now," she says. "With new energy and more aggressive reporting, it will be better."
When Philadelphia City Paper publisher Paul Curci conducted a national search for a new editor, he spoke to "no less than three dozen candidates," according to his open letter in the paper's latest issue. With input from his staff, he handpicked Philly native Duane Swierczynski, who worked at Philadelphia magazine and Men's Health before moving on to New York and an associate editor position at Details. Curci says that Swierczynski "made good in Philly, elevated his game in New York and chose to return to the city he loves to do what he does best -- lead young writers to excellence."
Duane Swierczynski is the new editor of Philadelphia City Paper, filling the spot left vacant when Howard Altman was fired in June 2004. Adding an interesting twist to the hiring is that in 1999 the paper published a mildly scathing rebuke regarding the publication of a phony article Swierczynski wrote for Philadelphia magazine about a gay Mummer. (Mummers are blue-collar guys who paint themselves to look like super-mimes and march through Philly each Jan. 1.) Publisher Paul Curci tells Dan Gross of the Philadelphia Daily News that City Paper staffers deem the long-ago hoax "a nonissue."
Chris Potter has been named Andy Newman's replacement as editor of Pittsburgh City Paper, reports Pittsburgh Business Times. "It was a huge surprise to me," says Potter, who has been the paper's managing editor since he and Newman came over from the now-defunct In Pittsburgh Newsweekly seven years ago. Potter will take over the position in November, after the City Paper's annual Best of Pittsburgh issue. "[Potter and I] have been conjoined for almost 10 years," Newman tells reporter Tim Schooley. "It's a very delicate procedure, but I think we'll both go on to lead productive lives."
Gary Webb is the newest reporter at the Sacramento News & Review, where he will cover politics and state government. Webb has won more than 30 journalism awards, including a Pulitzer Prize given to the editorial staff of the San Jose Mercury News for its coverage of the 1989 Bay Area earthquake. He is the author of "Dark Alliance," a book based on his series of articles for the Mercury News in which he exposed connections between Los Angeles crack dealers, Nicaraguan Contra rebels and the CIA.
Editor of the alt-weekly since 1998, Andy Newman will be leaving in November to try his hand as a freelance writer in New York City. "I've wanted to do this for a long time, and it seems like I should do it before they send the AARP card," he tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. City Paper will begin searching for his replacement immediately. Newman is currently working on a story for The Believer, and hopes to place a piece in The New Yorker within a year. He is vice president of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies' board of directors.