As part of a larger redesign, the paper has decided to pull listings from the printed page entirely. "We simply don't have the resources -- in people-power or page count -- to continue" printing listings, editor Stephen George writes. He notes that Louisville's Gannett papers have replaced much of their cultural reporting and criticism with listings. "We've realized that instead of trying to compete, we should fill the gaps," he writes. "Our real value to you, we believe, is our judgment and expertise on matters of arts and culture." To that end, LEO is launching a blog that will hip readers to cultural events the paper finds worthwhile.

Continue ReadingLEO Weekly Eliminates Listings from Print Edition

This week, the Albany alt-weekly begins a yearlong celebration of its 30th birthday, but as the Albany Times-Union notes, it is actually the paper's 31st, since it launched in mid-1978. Editor and publisher Stephen Leon says he wanted to peg the celebration to 1979, which was when Metroland switched from a "disco monthly" to a weekly. "The legend was I started the magazine to meet girls," founder Peter Iselin says. "And that was pretty much the case. What can I say? I was 23 years old." The Times-Union reports that Iselin got serious after the paper was denied AAN membership in 1986. He hired Leon to help build the paper's journalistic credibility, and Metroland was admitted to AAN the following year.

Continue ReadingMetroland Celebrates 30th — or 31st? — Birthday

The Louisville Eccentric Observer, which was acquired last month by Nashville-based SouthComm Communications, has named Stephen George as editor and Tammy Norkiewicz as sales manager, according to a press release. George, who previously served as managing editor, has been with LEO since January 2005, and Norkiewicz has been an account executive with the paper since December 2005. LEO has also named former associate editor Sara Havens as the new arts & entertainment editor, and has hired 2008 Academy for Alternative Journalism fellow Phillip Bailey as staff writer. Reached via email, George tells AAN News that Bailey will still participate in the scholarship program this summer; the paper is giving him a leave of absence to do so.

Continue ReadingLEO Names New Editor and Sales Manager

Both the Boston Phoenix and Boston's Weekly Dig have been "a springboard" for journalists from the university, BU Daily reports. Among the alums on the Beantown alt-weekly scene are Phoenix founder Stephen Mindich and senior managing editor Clif Garboden; Dig art director Tak Toyoshima and staff writer Chris Faraone; and countless others, including former Phoenix reporter Kristen Lombardi, who broke the story of Cardinal Bernard Law's protection of pedophile priests, and former Phoenix media critic Mark Jurkowitz, who is currently the associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. "[BU] is a great resource for us," says Dig publisher Jeff Lawrence. "These kids come out with great energy and a sense that they want to do something different."

Continue ReadingBoston’s Alt-Weeklies Draw Heavily from Boston University Students

Stephen Leon (pictured), the editor and publisher of Metroland in Albany, N.Y., was elected President on Saturday during the association's annual meeting. Willamette Week editor Mark Zusman was elected Vice President, making him the heir apparent to the presidency. Six of the nine remaining board seats were filled by incumbents running unopposed.

Continue ReadingAAN Elects 11 Board Members

As the dust settles from Village Voice Media's sale of the Express to a consortium of independent owners, a clearer picture of the new paper is emerging. The Berkeley Daily Planet reports that former Pitch Weekly publisher Hal Brody is the paper's majority owner, with 51 percent of the stock. Brody tells the Bay Guardian that, in addition to himself, editor Stephen Buel and Monterey County Weekly's Bradley Zeve, there are three out-of-town investors in the paper. He also says that the Express' joint ad sales agreement with VVM's SF Weekly will continue "indefinitely," and that the paper will continue to be represented in national ad sales by Ruxton. Meanwhile, Buel tells the Daily Planet that VVM "doesn't do well in places with competition." He adds: "If you look at the paper in the past year or so, you will see that it has gotten a lot thinner ... they didn't do well here." Buel also says that while the Express remains a defendant in the Bay Guardian's predatory pricing lawsuit, VVM agreed to assume all responsibility for the litigation. Finally, Buel writes on the Express' blog that more changes are afoot: a 5,000 bump in circulation and a tightening of the distribution area. He says the new owners also plan to address "changes to the format and design of the newspaper [that] made it a far less hospitable home for small advertisers, and placed limits on our community news coverage."

Continue ReadingMore Details Reported About East Bay Express Deal

Stephen Buel, co-owner and editor of the newly independent Express, tells the San Francisco Chronicle that he will aim for a "better mix" of story lengths and more community and government meeting coverage, and will bring back calendar listings and staff-generated movie reviews. The paper will also be redesigned, in print and online. "Readers won't see the changes next week," Buel said. "But in six or so months, they can decide whether they like them or not."

Continue ReadingNew East Bay Express Owner On the Changes to Come

In a press release issued this afternoon, Village Voice Media says it is selling its Emeryville-based paper to an investment group led by current editor Stephen Buel, AAN veteran Hal Brody, and Express co-founder Kelly Vance. Monterey County Weekly founder and CEO Bradley Zeve is also one of the investors. Brody, who owned Pitch Weekly in Kansas City until he sold it to New Times in 1999, will take over as publisher. The Express, which was founded in 1978, has been owned by New Times/VVM since 2001. "It's great that Hal and Steve will be taking over the Express," VVM chief executive officer Jim Larkin says. "They are amazingly talented people who will devote themselves to continuing the paper's excellence." Editing the Express "is the best job I've ever had," Buel says. "It will be an honor to build upon the legacies left by the founders and Village Voice Media."

Continue ReadingGroup of Alt-Weekly Vets to Buy East Bay Express

Louisville, Ky., probably isn't the easiest place to live car-free, but Louisville Eccentric Observer staff writer Stephen George is giving it a shot. For the next month, he'll try to navigate the city that has only "a single viable mode of public transit." He's blogging the experience for the paper, in part "to prove getting around Louisville without your own ride isn't as hard as it seems."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Writer Ditches Car, Blogs His Life Without It