Matt Coker, who came to Sacramento from the OC Weekly last Spring, was dismissed earlier this month, the Sacramento Bee reports. In addition, the paper's arts editor, Jonathan Kiefer, has resigned. News & Review CEO Jeff von Kaenel tells the Bee that Melinda Welsh will serve as interim editor until a permanent replacement is found. "(Melinda and I) have worked together for 20 years and we'll continue to make sure we're putting out a great paper," he says.

Continue ReadingSacramento News & Review Editor Ousted

In November, the Sacramento News & Review launched its Face to Face Video Ad project. The ads, which have also been rolled out at the company's paper in Chico and will soon hit its Reno paper, are serious, in-depth recorded interviews with vendors about their products and services. News & Review president and CEO Jeff von Kaenel says the idea was inspired by a vacation to India with his teenage daughter, who was shooting and editing video of the trip. "The video technology had gotten so easy to use," he says, it got him thinking about how the paper could take advantage of the technological leaps. So far, the initial reaction to the project has been promising, according to Susan Cooper, sales development manager at the Sacramento paper. In this Q&A with AAN News, she talks in more detail about the project.

Continue ReadingAdding Online Video to the Sales Toolkit

Reacting to the news that McClatchy plans to eliminate half of the artist jobs at its flagship Sacramento Bee and outsource the work to India, the Sacramento News & Review posted an ad for a "Media Company CEO" on Delhi Craigslist yesterday. "The value of McClatchy's stock has plummeted," the ad reads. "We are thereby accepting applications that we will dutifully forward to McClatchy for 'outsourced' CEOs who will work for much less than McClatchy's current CEO (who hauls in a cool $1 million, or up to $2.38 million with bonuses. Why are you laughing?). Your duties will include bailing water out of a sinking ship, blacking or tearing out bad McClatchy financial news from publications distributed in house (including your own) and dancing while angry board members shoot bullets at your feet. Serious inquires only." News & Review editor Matt Coker, reached by email, tells AAN News that they've already received two applications: one from the Phillipines, and another from a headhunter in New Delhi.

Continue ReadingNews & Review Looks to ‘Hire’ Outsourced CEO for McClatchy

Fifty alternative newsweeklies in the U.S. and Canada will publish stories this week to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol. The editorial package, conceived and shepherded by staff at Sacramento News & Review, includes a retrospective by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben commissioned by AAN, a look-back by Kyoto participant Ed Smeloff, a drubbing of ABC News Correspondent and global-warming skeptic John Stossel, and a look at the controversial views of Danish environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg. Many of the papers participating in the project are also contributing their own stories focusing on local climate-change issues. Sacramento News & Review Editor-at-large Melinda Welsh says the anniversary was "a chance to reveal to millions of alt-weekly readers how little distance we've traveled these last 10 years toward a solution to this giant problem we've created for ourselves and future generations." Links to Kyoto Protocol Anniversary stories may be found at

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Commemorate Kyoto Protocol Anniversary

Facing rising rents and the end of their Sacramento paper's lease, News & Review owners Jeff vonKaenel and Deborah Redmond bought a shuttered commercial building. At the prodding of their teenage daughter and Phil Angelides, former California State Treasurer and last year's unsuccessful Democratic nominee for Governor, the couple are undertaking a green renovation of their new property. The $1.4 million project is scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2008, according to the News & Review. Since the paper will be figuring out much of the green engineering itself, it has given Sena Christian the task of writing a weekly column about the renovation for the next year. "Sure, we want a nice building. But we want something else, too," she writes. "We want to spur the green-building movement in Sacramento. By reporting on local individuals, companies and institutions leading the way, we want to up the ante, ultimately speeding up innovation in the realms of clean technology, energy efficiency and renewable energy."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly is Turning its New Building ‘Green’ — and Writing About It

The politically conservative Sacramento Union has purchased two pages of ad space for 13 weeks in the Sacramento News & Review, according to the Sacramento Business Journal. The two pages will be original editorial content, meant to expose the alt-weekly's audience to the Union's ideas. In a press release, the Union's publisher thanks the News & Review for "thinking outside the box and having the courage of their convictions to print another opinion." In the same release, News & Review president Jeff von Kaenel anticipates potential criticism and takes it head on: "The Sacramento Union's pages will contain plenty of content that we will strongly disagree with," he says. "But does that paper have a right to buy space and get those opinions heard? The answer is yes."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Sells Advertorial Space to Conservative Paper

Scott Hassenflu will leave the News & Review and the board of the Alternative Weekly Network (AWN) on May 18. In a letter sent yesterday to his AWN colleagues, Hassenflu says his "short term plans" call for "some much needed R & R" and a more active role in a home-furnishings store he co-owns. Hassenflu has served on the AWN board for the past 10 years, and has had a long career in the alternative press, including stints with the Dallas Observer and San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Continue ReadingSacramento News & Review Publisher Steps Down

Executive editor Matt Coker notified the Weekly's staff yesterday that he's heading to the state capitol to be editor of the News & Review, LA Observed reports. He replaces Nancy Brands Ward, who left the Sacramento alt-weekly earlier this month. Despite the timing of his resignation, Coker says it's unrelated to the recent comings and goings at OC Weekly. "I want to make it clear that my departure has nothing to do with Ted [Kissell]'s arrival nor the shenanigans involving others who have left the Weekly," Coker says in his e-mail to staff. "The timing just happened to work out that way."

Continue ReadingOC Weekly Editor Leaves for Sacramento News & Review