Tampa's alt-weekly was formerly called Creative Loafing, and it will be called that again this fall, according to Editor David Warner. But a "universal brain fart'" led the paper to mistakenly make the change several months ahead of schedule and run its latest issue under the nameplate of its sister publications in Charlotte and Atlanta. "The error was partly due to the fact that while the editing staffs for Tampa and Sarasota are in Florida, design and production for all four papers in the Creative Loafing chain is done in Atlanta," Warner wrote last week on his paper's blog. "But such an error has never occurred before, and we here in Tampa should have been more alert."

Continue ReadingWeekly Planet Changes Name, Prematurely

In a story published Saturday, the alt-weekly and its parent company, Creative Loafing, Inc., announced that return figures had been inaccurate, possibly for years, under former Circulation Director Zarko Bajsanski. The paper has taken steps to correct the problem, including firing Bajsanski and at least one driver. "I feel like I'm a victim in this as well," says publisher Amber Abram. Bajsanski blames the drivers for providing inaccurate return sheets. The Weekly Planet has also dropped its print run from 95,000 to 85,000 copies and eliminated financial incentives for drivers to keep returns low. Advertising materials have not been changed, and the paper's management expects an upcoming Media Audit report to be consistent with the quality of readership figures provided to advertisers.

Continue ReadingTampa’s Weekly Planet Deals With Circulation Problems

Free weeklies like the Planet Jackson Hole of Jackson, Wyo., remain in the competition to publish towns' legal notices, thanks to action in the Wyoming State Legislature last Wednesday. A provision to a proposed bill that would have required towns to print their legal notices in papers that have paid circulation of 500 or more was shot down even before it got out of committee, Planet Jackson Hole reports. Planet Publisher Mary Grossman said the proposed bill was a rushed attempt by a paid-subscription newspaper in the same market and its Wyoming Press Association lobbyists to squelch competition.

Continue ReadingWyoming Towns Retain Right to Publish Legals in Free Weeklies

Readers of Gambit Weekly, New Times Broward-Palm Beach, Miami New Times, Weekly Planet (Tampa), Weekly Planet (Sarasota), Folio Weekly and Orlando Weekly have lately seen Mother Nature at her worst. Distributed in areas affected by the hurricanes that have pounded Florida and surrounding states since August, these alt-weeklies have come out on schedule -- thanks to determined staffers and contingency plans.

Continue ReadingIn Harm’s Way, Alt-Weeklies Weather Hurricanes

The Times Publishing Co., publisher of the St. Petersburg Times, has launched tbt*, a weekly paper apparently aimed at asterisk-loving young adults. According to the Times, tbt* delivers news in short chunks with colorful photos and no attempt at serious analysis, and bills itself as "zippy news for time-challenged adults." Features also include entertainment listings, shopping tips, and advice on computers and romance. Paul Tash, editor and chairman of Times Publishing, tells reporter Helen Huntley: "There's nothing else like it on the market." AAN-member Weekly Planet (Tampa) is distributed in the same area.

Continue ReadingFaux Alt Debuts in Tampa