Weekly Planet (Tampa) has laid off three editorial staffers -- News Editor Francis X. Gilpin and staff writers Trevor Aaronson and Rochelle Renford -- citing flat revenue and a desire to shift focus from political to cultural coverage, the St. Petersburgh Times reports. Neil Skene, senior vice president, group publisher, of the Planet's parent company, Creative Loafing, says the weekly will now use freelance writers for political coverage.
Long-time General Manager Amy Austin was promoted to publisher of D.C.'s alt-weekly, taking over from Thomas Yoder, who also has responsibilities in Chicago with CP's sister paper. "I think we've gotten to the point now where this is just a mature, strong paper with not only a great person in Amy, but a good management staff under Amy," COO Jane Levine tells the Washington Business Journal.
The Missoula Independent has hired alt-weekly veteran Brad Tyer as its new editor. Tyer, a native of Houston, takes over from Interim Editor David Madison, who will become the paper’s Flathead Bureau Chief in Kalispell, Mont. Tyer was previously editor of the Texas Observer and before that a staff reporter at the Houston Press.
Andy Sutcliffe and Janet Reynolds have been named group publishers for New Mass Media's four alternative newsweeklies. At the first of 2003, Reynolds becomes group publisher for the Valley and Hartford Advocates, while Sutcliffe takes the same title at the New Haven Advocate and Fairfield County Weekly. "These appointments further assist in the re-organization of New Mass. Media, Inc. into a more streamlined and efficient publishing house," says CEO Fran Zankowski.
Barrs, who was editor-in-chief and "The Finger" at New Times LA until it was shuttered, takes over at New Times' flagship paper, according to a NT Media press release. Joining him in Phoenix as associate editor is Tony Ortega, who worked for Barrs in LA after starting his career in Phoenix. Meanwhile, former Associate Editor Patti Epler is named managing editor.
Ida Ford comes to Cleveland Scene as classified advertising director from the Plain Dealer, where she directed inside and outside sales units for both real estate and recruitment advertising. Scene Publisher Ramon Larkin says her experience in these two vital areas, as well as her community and professional contacts, will be "a great contribution."
Media critic Michael Anft announces he is ending his 20-year on-and-off relationship with Baltimore City Paper and retiring "to flip through heretofore-unread copies of The New Yorker and Harper's." Anft takes a parting shot at "the mostly uninspired local product we unfortunate viewers/readers/listeners have spewed at us."