• The Mountain Xpress is ending its 14-year run as a print publication today, "suspending its regular online news reports and converting its entire news operation to Twitter dispatches from staff and trusted community journalists."
  • The San Francisco Bay Guardian has settled its lawsuit with Village Voice Media, agreeing to drop its legal action and "shut the fuck up" about PG&E, sunshine, media concentration, rent control, and over-development.
  • Publisher Sally Freeman has sold the Boise Weekly to N-Corp-Al, which quickly shut the alt-weekly down and relaunched it as the Treasure Valley Weekly Post.
  • The Washington City Paper has relaunched as the Huffington City Paper.
  • Salt Lake City Weekly announced it has purchased SLUG magazine and will bring new features like "Cute Baby of the Month" and "Those Wacky Pets" to the long-running local underground-music magazine.
  • Athens, Ga., alt-weekly Flagpole has relaunched as "a celebrity 'zine about fun and style, now to be known as Starpole."
  • The East Bay Express is changing editorial course, introducing new procedures like "user-generated copyediting" and "reader-assigned stories."

Continue ReadingAAN Members Across the Country Unveil Major Changes

Among the 43 attorneys that California Lawyer magazine gave California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Awards to are the three lawyers who worked the Bay Guardian's predatory-pricing case against SF Weekly and Village Voice Media. Ralph Alldredge, Rich Hill and Craig Moody "deftly made the case" for the Guardian, California Lawyer says in a press release.

Continue ReadingSan Francisco Bay Guardian Lawyers Honored by Magazine

In the old days, when the media reported on problems in the newspaper industry, alternative newspapers weren't included. But alt-weeklies are immune no longer: In 2008, many AAN papers faced some of the same issues afflicting their mainstream brethren in the print media. However, you can still find alt-weeklies that had a pretty good year in 2008. That's just what AAN's editor Jon Whiten did, and he reports on 10 papers that increased revenue in a story published by Editor & Publisher.

Continue ReadingTen AAN Members That Bucked the Trends and Grew in ’08

In the sixteenth installment of this year's "How I Got That Story" series, San Antonio Current music editor Gilbert Garcia talks about his winning columns, which Ling Ma says are all "portraits of mediocrity." She's talking not about Garcia's writing, of course, but about the subjects he covers: The Police, Paul McCartney, and American Idol Haley Scarnato. Garcia discusses his band, the role a music critic should play, and the difficulty of writing about something you know very well. "When you know too much about a subject, you almost have too many approaches you could take," he says.

Continue ReadingHow I Got That Story: Gilbert Garcia

Proponents of the California ballot initiative to mandate parental notification before teen abortions tell the Oakland Tribune they will likely try a fourth time after this year's attempt, Proposition 4, was narrowly defeated last week. The ballot measures are funded in large part by San Diego Reader publisher Jim Holman. "Talking to Mr. Holman, he was commenting about how close it was, and I think he was feeling a little down as if a little extra effort might have put it over," Proposition 4 spokesman Albin Rhomberg tells the Tribune. "When you see it's that close, it sort of increases that sense of obligation to follow through."

Continue ReadingJim Holman May Float Parental Notification Iniative Again

LEO Weekly founder John Yarmuth was re-elected to Congress yesterday, where he'll continue to serve Kentucky's 3rd District. Today's Louisville Courier-Journal reports that with 99 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial vote totals had Yarmuth, a Democrat, with 59 percent of the vote and Republican challenger Anne Northup with 41. In California, San Diego Reader publisher Jim Holman once again bankrolled a ballot measure that would require doctors to notify parents before performing an abortion on a minor, and the Los Angeles Times reports that it remained too close to call Tuesday night. With four-fifths of precincts reporting last night, 52.8 of voters were opposed to the measure while 47.2 favored it, according to the AP, which says the initiative "appear[s] headed for defeat." Holman contributed more than $1.3 million of the reported $2.6 million raised for the measure, the AP reports. UPDATE (4:55 pm EST): A number of news outlets are now reporting that the ballot measure was indeed defeated.

Continue ReadingLEO Founder Re-Elected, Jim Holman’s Measure ‘Too Close to Call’ Fails

The California Newspaper Publishers Association announced the winners of its annual Better Newspapers Contest on Saturday, and nine AAN members won a total of 38 awards. The Sacramento News & Review won a total of nine awards, five of which were first-place finishes, including a General Excellence win. "The News & Review is a salty and irreverent weekly packed with excellent coverage of news and culture, multiple voices in columns and two pages of letters," the judges wrote. "Its colorful design is inviting and, praises to the sales department, it is packed with ads." In addition, Palo Alto Weekly also won nine total awards; the North Coast Journal won eight; Chico News & Review won four; the San Francisco Bay Guardian won three; Metro Silicon Valley won two; and the Pacific Sun, Pasadena Weekly and SF Weekly each took home one award. CORRECTION: The Santa Barbara Independent also won five awards.

Continue ReadingCalifornia Alt-Weeklies Take Home Dozens of State Awards

That's what San Francisco's school board president Mark Sanchez, who hopes to replace District 9 Supervisor Tom Ammiano, tells the Bay Area Reporter. Another candidate, David Campos, this week secured the backing of another important group, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, but Sanchez downplayed not receiving that nod, saying the real prize will be the Bay Guardian's endorsement, which is expected in October. Campos agreed: "I think the Bay Guardian is definitely an important endorsement," he tells the Reporter.

Continue ReadingLocal Pol: Bay Guardian’s Endorsement ‘Is the Big One’

On Friday, the California State Senate passed AB 1778 by a margin of 21-16. The legislation places "modest requirements" on recyclers who engage in large cash transactions for newspapers or other materials. The legislation requires recyclers to pay by check and obtain ID from individuals who bring in more than $50 of newspapers. The law, which has been championed by the East Bay Express, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and other publications, passed the Assembly in June. If signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2009.

Continue ReadingCalifornia Bill to Fight Newspaper Theft Passes Senate