As part of ongoing cost-cutting by its parent company, the 26-year-old alt-weekly will publish its last print edition next week. Its website will remain, and the paper may resume publishing when the economy improves, according to Maurice Jones, president and publisher of the Virginian-Pilot, which owns Port Folio. The Pilot is also laying off 30 employees, including some at Port Folio.

Continue ReadingPort Folio Weekly’s Print Edition to be Suspended

Landmark Media announced Tuesday that the credit crunch forced it to take the Virginian-Pilot and its affiliates in the Norfolk, Va. area, including Port Folio Weekly, off the market. Landmark vice chairman Richard F. Barry III says the company will resume the sale when the economy improves, but in the meantime it remains open to offers. The move does not affect Style Weekly, the other AAN member paper based in Virginia that is owned by Landmark, because it is not part of the Virginian-Pilot Media group.

Continue ReadingParent Co. Takes Port Folio Weekly and Related Papers Off the Market

"The reasons for my departure are complicated, but at the heart of the matter is a fundamental disagreement with the management of our parent company over editorial philosophy," Robotham wrote in an editor's note last week. "The higher ups here believed that Port Folio under my leadership had become too staunchly liberal." Robotham, who had been at Port Folio for ten years, has been replaced by a co-editing team of former arts editor Leona Baker and contributor Jeff Maisey, according to the Virginian-Pilot. The daily also notes that the aforementioned "higher ups" have penned a response to Robotham to run in this week's paper. "It has to do with a need for significant change," the column by publisher Colleen Nabhan and general manager Edward Power reportedly says. The paper "has experienced a graying of its audience" and must "embrace new audiences in more inventive and effective ways," they argue.

Continue ReadingTom Robotham Out as Editor of Port Folio Weekly

Landmark Communications, which owns those two Virginia AAN member papers, has hired JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers to "to assist in exploring strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of the company's businesses," Landmark's vice chairman tells the Roanoke Times. The company's 2006 sales figures were $1.75 billion, and it employs about 12,000 people at more than 100 publications and other media properties including The Weather Channel, the Times reports.

Continue ReadingPort Folio Weekly & Style Weekly Parent Co. May Go Up for Sale

Port Folio Weekly announced a "Big Idea" essay contest in their Independence Day issue, an idea inspired by Gen. Wesley Clark's speech at the 2006 AAN Convention. "Clark noted that today ... there are few if any big ideas around which the country can rally," Tom Robotham says in his Sept. 26 Editor's Note. "What we need in these dire times, it seems to me, are motivating ideas that appeal to our inherent expansiveness -- our collective and foundational belief in intellectual enlightenment, social justice and tolerance of diversity." This week's issue contains the top three submissions as well as an interview with the winner, Missy Cotter Smasal, who proposed "a Foreign Language Corps, to be sponsored by the federal government in a manner similar to university ROTC programs throughout the country. "

Continue ReadingPort Folio Weekly Has a Big Idea

Eight of the prospective members are previous applicants, and two are owned by alt-weekly veterans who had been members during a previous association with different papers. AAN members will also be asked this year to evaluate Boston's Weekly Dig and Des Moines' Cityview, the first two post-sale newspapers whose membership will be reviewed under a process established in 2004 when the association's bylaws were amended. The fate of all of these papers will be determined at the organization's next Annual Meeting, which will be held in Little Rock on Saturday, June 17, the last day of the 29th annual AAN convention.

Continue ReadingTen Newspapers Apply for AAN Membership