The Santa Barbara Independent's Robby Robbins, who is AAN's Classified Advertising Chair, was married on July 2 to longtime partner Bryan O'Quinn as part of the Express' Wedding Wednesdays promotion. The paper chose six couples to be married to celebrate same-sex couples' newfound right to legally marry in California. In attendance at the July 2 ceremony were a number of Independent staffers who drove up from Santa Barbara, as well as Gloria Mock, advertising director of North Carolina's Independent Weekly, where Robbins previously worked. "Bryan and I are so grateful to the East Bay Express, [publisher] Jody Colley, and all their partners/vendors for making this wonderful time more spectacular than we could ever have imagined," Robbins tells AAN News via email. For more photos click here, and for a video montage of all six weddings, click here.

Continue ReadingAAN Board Member Gets Married by East Bay Express

The city will begin with one rack at City Hall, and then will accept public input before making a decision on extending the program to all city-owned property and right-of-ways (including sidewalks), according to Santa Fe Reporter columnist Zane Fischer. He argues that the program is a waste of time and money, and that the modular racks -- not individual news boxes -- are the real eyesores. "The neatness purchased by such an investment tends toward homogeneity rather than beauty," Fischer writes. "Santa Fe's dedication to retaining its distinctive appearance has been so enormous over the past century -- and its resistance to architectural progress remains so formidable -- that there is sad irony to be found in watching its difference be chipped away by small, aesthetic technicalities."

Continue ReadingSanta Fe Will Test Out Modular Newsracks has won the EPpy for the best weekly newspaper-affiliated website in the country, Editor & Publisher, which sponsors the contest with Mediaweek, reports. The winners of the annual awards honoring online work were announced yesterday in Las Vegas, and publisher Randy Campbell was there to accept, thanking his staff "for their hard work in taking the website from a skeleton to a fully operational daily source of news for the Santa Barbara community," the Independent reports. "There are no secrets to publishing, either online or in print, so I'm thrilled the hard work and commitment of our web team has been recognized on a national level," said Campbell back in April when the site was first nominated.

Continue ReadingSanta Barbara Independent Wins EPpy Award

We're not sure how big they are, but after 15 years at the Santa Barbara Independent, Tom Morey has left two pairs of shoes to fill. According to a release from the paper, Jen Malkin and Robby Robbins will replace Morey by "dividing the awesome task of sales management." Robbins, who serves on the AAN Board as Classified Advertising Chair, "will concentrate on bringing sales in the door" while Malkin "lords over" production and marketing. And Morey isn't going anywhere: He will remain with the paper as part of the sales management team focusing on the local arts community.

Continue ReadingSanta Barbara Independent Sales Manager to be Replaced by Two People

The Independent and the parent company of the Santa Barbara News-Press have settled a federal copyright infringement lawsuit, the Indy reports. The suit was brought against the alt-weekly in 2006 after a reporter for the News-Press wrote an article describing what occurred in the paper's newsroom the day a handful of top editors resigned. The story never made the paper; instead, the Independent got a hold of a draft and posted it on its website, which the News-Press claimed violated federal copyright law. Local media law blogger Craig Smith says that even though they won't admit it, the settlement is "a victory for the Independent."

Continue ReadingSanta Barbara Independent Settles Lawsuit With Daily Paper

Doug Elder and Robby Robbins have been named the winners of the AAN CAN European Dream Trip contest, which ended on Friday. As the sales rep and sales manager who generated the most new business between Oct. 11, 2007 and March 21, they will each be awarded a 10-day trip for two that includes round-trip airfare and accommodations for three nights each in London, Paris and Rome. Elder and Robbins ended up with a final tally of $19,928, placing well ahead of the runner-up, John DeMartino of the Independent Weekly, who finished with $2,888.

Continue ReadingSanta Barbara Independent Wins AAN CAN Contest

As we reported last week, the California Supreme Court squelched the Santa Barbara Independent's last legal hope in a long fight over turning over some unpublished crime scene photographs. With the court declining to hear an appeal, the paper and staff photographer Paul Wellman faced criminal punishment -- including possible jail time -- if they continued to hold the photos. So the Independent, rather than give the photos to the district attorney, decided to publish all 334 of them on its website this week. "We did make a point of dragging this case out to the bitter end," explains news editor Nick Welsh. "This was in part inspired by the assault on the media that's been taking place for the past eight years, and the utter contempt for the public's right to know -- anything -- displayed by the Bush Administration."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Explains Why it Held Photos … Then Publishes Them All

The California State Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a petition from the Santa Barbara Independent and staff photographer Paul Wellman asking the court to review a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge's decision to hold the paper and Wellman in contempt of court for not handing over photos from a murder last year, the Independent reports. This exhausts the legal options the paper had to fight the initial ruling. "I'm not surprised," Independent attorney Mike Cooney says. "Even though I'm devoted to the concept the subpoena was overbroad, it's difficult for appellate courts to review during criminal proceedings." Wellman faces potential imprisonment and the paper faces fines if they continue to refuse the subpoena, but both parties haven't yet decided what to do.

Continue ReadingState Supreme Court Declines to Hear Alt-Weekly’s Contempt Case