In 2008, Teri Newman entered the Riverfront Times' "Ask a Cougar!" contest, which sought an older woman to pen an advice column of the same name. Now, the 51-year-old Illinois woman is running for the Republican nomination in that state's 12th U.S. Congressional District, and her primary opponent says the columnist bid raises questions about her character. But Newman defends her decision, saying she entered the contest at her husband's urging and her opponent's tactics show desperation. "The whole thing is crap-ola," Newman says. "A big bowl of crap-ola." The winner of the Feb. 2 primary will face off against longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello and Green Party candidate Rodger Jennings this fall.

Continue Reading‘Ask a Cougar’ Column Bid Becomes Issue in Woman’s Run for Congress

In his latest Society of Publication Designers blog post showing alt-weekly art directors some love, Robert Newman singles out Tom Carlson of Riverfront Times, calling him "one of a number of alt-weekly art directors who are doing amazing, creative work with their designs, crafting cover after cover from scratch, on super-low budgets, with limited deadlines, using primarily stock imagery and self-created artwork." Carlson, who has won several AltWeekly Awards in recent years (including a first-place win in 2007), says he employs an "object-oriented" method. "I like to go for visual solutions with clarity and directness that render text all but unnecessary," he says. "I tend to avoid decorative type choices and use type that just is, and let the words (when we have them) do their job."

Continue ReadingSPD Highlights Riverfront Times’ ‘Smart, Cool’ Cover Design Work

Yesterday we told you about the jury's decision in a case brought against a trio of doctors, in which the plaintiff claimed that the plastic surgeons provided before-and-after photographs of her torso to the Riverfront Times without her permission. The story we linked to noted that one of the doctors testified that the photo miscue wasn't his fault, since Times reporter Kristen Hinman had promised not to use the photos and to let him review the 2006 story before publication (The paper, which denied the doctor's claims, was not named in the suit.) That story, however, didn't explain that Hinman wasn't allowed to testify in the jury's presence, due to what Times editor Tom Finkel calls a "bizarre" mid-trial ruling that said doing so would constitute "unfair surprise" and deprive the doctors of a fair trial. The irony, of course, is that the doctor in question was allowed to testify in front of jurors, and he "fed the jury two baldfaced lies" about the alt-weekly, Finkel writes.

Continue ReadingIn Photo Case, Writer Wasn’t Allowed to Testify in Jury’s Presence

A federal jury has awarded $100,000 to "Jane Doe," a cosmetic surgery patient who claimed that doctors provided before-and-after photographs of her torso without her permission to illustrate a 2006 Riverfront Times story. The woman's lawyers were seeking millions of dollars for compensatory damages alone, but one juror says the jury awarded only enough to pay something to her lawyers and to allow for her hotel and travel expenses. The St. Louis alt-weekly was not named in the woman's suit. However, one of the doctors being sued testified that Times reporter Kristen Hinman promised not to use the photos and to let him review the article before publication, charges that Hinman and her editor deny.

Continue ReadingJury Rules in Lawsuit That Stemmed from Riverfront Times Story

The Association of Food Journalists last week named the winners of its 2009 Awards Competition at a banquet in New Orleans. Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman won first place for Best Newspaper Restaurant Criticism and Creative Loafing (Atlanta)'s Besha Rodell took home first for Best Newspaper Food Feature. (Riverfront Times' Kristen Hinman took third in that category.) Kauffman's victory marks the fourth year in a row that a Village Voice Media paper has won the Best Newspaper Restaurant Criticism category.

Continue ReadingOnce Again, Alt-Weeklies Fare Well in Food Journalists’ Awards

With the All-Star Game taking place in St. Louis this week, the alt-weekly published a guide that included, among other things, home addresses of some current and former Cardinals baseball players. Some of the players were upset, and the team "felt it had no option but to instruct Major League Baseball to revoke the credentials they'd granted Riverfront Times to cover the All-Star Game, and to rescind our credentials to cover the team over the course of the regular season," editor Tom Finkel reports.

Continue ReadingRiverfront Times’ All-Star Game Guide Gets its MLB Credentials Revoked