Former editor Cary Stemle is not following in the footsteps of LEO founder and current Congressman John Yarmuth by running for office, but he has has joined Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Lunsford's team as campaign spokesperson, Politicker KY reports. Lunsford is running against Senator Mitch McConnell, the current Senate Minority Leader who has served in Congress since 1984. Stemle, who edited LEO for a decade, was let go when the paper was purchased by SouthComm Communications in May.
The Louisville Eccentric Observer was acquired by SouthComm Communications, a company headed by former Scene publisher Chris Ferrell, according to LEO. The change was announced to staff this morning. Pam Brooks will stay on as publisher, but other LEO staffers were not so lucky. Brooks told a local blog that editor Cary Stemle, sales director Kelly Gream, and two other employees weren't offered positions with the new company. SouthComm, which was formed late last year, owns a custom publishing company based in Atlanta, as well as various Nashville websites and magazines.
The December issue contains a lengthy feature on the Louisville Eccentric Observer and its competitor for advertising dollars, Velocity. Velocity is a weekly arts & entertainment tabloid that was spun off from Gannett's local daily, the Courier-Journal. The paper's editor, Jim Lenehan, is confident his faux-alt will attract young readers: "We did a lot of focus groups that told us that this was what they really wanted to see -- that this was the kind of thing they would pick up week after week." (The article is not available on Louisville Magazine's Web site, but the publication kindly allowed us to post a PDF here.)