Creative Loafing Tampa celebrates its 25th Anniversary this week and to commemorate they have planned a week's worth of festivities highlighting the eventful history of the publication.
The recent Best of the West journalism contest honored several alt-weeklies, including the Houston Press, Phoenix New Times, SF Weekly and Denver's Westword, which each picked up first-place honors.
Like several other alt-weeklies, Creative Loafing (Tampa) has put together a holiday auction to raise funds for a local nonprofit, but with a new twist: Cover space, a news story and a restaurant review in the paper are among the items up for bid. "This is our way of saying 'This is not how we do business,'" editor David Warner tells the St. Petersburg Times. "Just this once, you'll see what you get if our content actually is for sale. It's ironic, unchartered (sic) territory."
As part of a bankruptcy judge's August decision to turn Creative Loafing, Inc. over to its creditors, the Tampa paper had to vacate its old office building, which was owned by the Eason family. This week is Creative Loafing (Tampa)'s first in its new offices, located in the historic Ybor Square area, and editor David Warner is already impressed with a seemingly simple aspect: being able to get out of the office and walk around. "That may not sound like much, but after five (!) years cooped up in a former fruit warehouse where you had to get in your car to do anything outside the office, this was, literally, a dream," he writes.
The Denver alt-weekly's search for a critic to review the region's medical marijuana dispensaries got another big news splash yesterday, thanks to an Associated Press story. The AP reports that Westword has received more than 120 applications for the position, with many people offering to write for free. The idea to hire a critic came from staff writer Joel Warner, who says he noticed how different the dispensaries were as he covered the medical marijuana industry. "Some really looked like your college drug dealer's dorm room. You know, Bob Marley posters on the wall and big marijuana leaf posters," he says. "But then some were so fancy, like dentist's offices. They had bubbling aquariums in the lobby and were so clean. I thought, somebody needs to review these. Somebody needs to tell people what these places are like."
Westword's Joel Warner, who won first place for feature story in the above 50,000 circulation category for "The Good Soldier," discussed the story with his editor Patricia Calhoun in a live chat.
Westword staff writer Joel Warner and editor Patricia Calhoun will be live on AAN.org this Friday talking about Warner's story "The Good Soldier," which won first place for feature story in the above 50,000 circulation category. The chat will begin at 3:30 EDT.
As part of company-wide cuts at Creative Loafing, Washington City Paper and Creative Loafing (Charlotte) have each reportedly laid off two employees. In addition, Mediabistro is reporting on an unspecified number of layoffs at L.A. Weekly, and the Valley Advocate says that last week associate publisher Do-Han Allen and circulation manager Jeffrey Owczarski became "the latest casualties of a series of year-end layoffs by our parent company." A few days after his paper laid off seven, Creative Loafing (Tampa) editor David Warner dedicates his editor's note to a list of "the Top 10 Reasons Layoffs Suck."
Foodies at Creative Loafing (Atlanta), Riverfront Times, Westword, L.A. Weekly, East Bay Express, City Pages (Twin Cities), Phoenix New Times, and Houston Press picked up ten of the 21 nominations for which they qualified in the 2006 James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards announced today. The complete list is available as a PDF here. Alt-weeklies were particularly dominant in the "Newspaper Writing on Spirits, Wine or Beer" category, in which all three nominees are AAN members. The awards recognize and honor excellence and achievement in the culinary arts.
Readers of Gambit Weekly, New Times Broward-Palm Beach, Miami New Times, Weekly Planet (Tampa), Weekly Planet (Sarasota), Folio Weekly and Orlando Weekly have lately seen Mother Nature at her worst. Distributed in areas affected by the hurricanes that have pounded Florida and surrounding states since August, these alt-weeklies have come out on schedule -- thanks to determined staffers and contingency plans.