The paper's editor and publisher, James Shannon, announced the closure on Friday. Shannon predicted that alternative voices like his will increasingly gravitate to the web "as opposed to the more costly print product that requires a level of support hard to obtain without excessive pandering in a free publication funded solely by advertising dollars." With a lineage that began in 1991 and evolved from predecessors Creative Loafing-Greenville and MetroBeat, the latest version of The Beat lasted 31 months. "(We) only wish we could have done it better and for a longer period of time," said Shannon. "But hell, at least we tried."

Continue ReadingGreenville, SC’s The Beat is Shuttered

This weekend marks the first performances of Shannon Wheeler's "Too Much Coffee Man Opera" outside of his hometown of Portland, Ore., where it premiered last year. Wheeler, who received an honorable mention in this year's AltWeekly Awards, says after being prodded to turn his comic strip into a opera by a friend, it was a dream in which a character sang an aria that sealed the deal. "I woke up and thought, Why am I fighting this?," he tells the San Diego Union-Tribune. "It's an opportunity to learn new things." Thus far, response to the opera has been overwhelmingly positive, and Wheeler is already planning an as-yet-untitled sequel to hit the stage next year in Portland.

Continue ReadingOpera Inspired by Alt-Weekly Cartoon Hits Comic-Con

A recent story about Gannett distribution networks published in Des Moines' Cityview mistakenly reported that Greenville, S.C.'s MetroBeat "now exists only online." (The mistake was repeated in a similar story published earlier this month in The Billings Outpost.) In fact, MetroBeat no longer exists, having been replaced by The Beat, which became an AAN member in June and celebrated its 1st anniversary on July 25. The confusion stems from the fact that the Beat's owner, James Shannon, was the editor of MetroBeat when it was shuttered and initially kept the name going online before launching his new publication in 2005.

Continue ReadingRumors of the Beat’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

To get a good cover, all you need is an old keyboard from the computer morgue, a Bible under a mechanic's spotlight, or an associate publisher willing to lie down and play dead. That's how Oklahoma Gazette art director Christopher Street and photographer Shannon Cornman came up with their award-winning cover designs. This is the 30th in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.

Continue ReadingChris Street and Shannon Cornman: Designing to Get Picked Up

Editor James Shannon announced yesterday that 20,000-circulation MetroBeat has ceased publication. The paper was known as Creative Loafing-Greenville until its sale by that chain to its founder, Debby Eason, in August, 2001. Of the 14 papers that applied for AAN membership in 2002, MetroBeat was the only one that was accepted. A letter from Shannon announcing that he will continue the publication as an online magazine is posted at .

Continue ReadingGreenville, SC’s MetroBeat Shuttered