Monthly Archives: September 2012

Alternative Ending In San Francisco

By Mark Hanzlik, Executive Director

If you haven’t read the current issue of Columbia Journalism Review, you may have missed one of the last takes on the altmedia publishing icon, Bruce Brugmann who stepped aside after more than 45 years this summer, selling The San Francisco Bay Guardian to the San Francisco Examiner.


The piece doesn’t cover every detail of the Brugmann’s (Bruce & wife Jean) life and publishing enterprise but in a tidy three pages, both sides of the prickly journalist, who the author refers to as one of the “lions” of the alt-weekly industry are well presented.   Many of us know Bruce and Jean and others employed at The San Francisco Bay Guardian over the years, there wasn’t much happening in the City that flew under the radar in the Alt Media industry.

In late April, we posted a piece of our own following the announcement of the sale of the Bay Guardian.

Pacific Northwest Inlander On The Move

By Mark Hanzlik, Executive Director

I read a post this morning in E&P reporting long-time AWN member Pacific Northwest Inlander will be relocating to their own new building in Spokane.  That’s more positive newspaper publishing news than we’re accustomed to hearing lately, good luck to McGregor’s and the Inlander staff.

WA-PacNorwestInlanderPublisher Ted McGregor shares some of his thoughts in the E&P post, supporting local as well as continuing to produce the kind of good journalism that has become rare these days.   The Pacific Northwest Inlander is often at the top of the list of free alternative weeklies in percentage of audience reached according to The Media Audit.

We  share an important anniversary with the Inlander.  They began publishing in the Pacific Northwest in 1993 and we left the Pacific Northwest at the same time to come to Sacramento and expand the CAL-AAN group into the national cooperative that we have today.   Like ships passing in the night.

Not the Right Mix For Gannett

By Mark Hanzlik, Executive Director

Metromix weekly print publications have been quietly disappearing across the country for the past few years while their online counterparts continued to grow and attract market share.    On September 19, the Cincinnati Enquirer will shut down Metromix, marking possibly one of the last Metromix print publications in the Gannett publishing chain.  I said “possibly” because no one is really keeping track anymore.

Gannett began publishing entertainment weekly tabloids (distributed separately from their daily product) in 2003, Cincinnati’s weekly CiN Weekly which was the first one, may also have been the model for what later became a more widely published product called Metromix.   At one point, Gannett and Tribune Company were both launching these free weeklies and dailies at a rate that would make people think the newspaper industry was far from declining.  Gannett and Tribune Co. eventually forged an agreement for a joint effort with Metromix online.   Read more about the Cincinnati free weekly battle in a post this past week by CityBeat titled “R.I.P. Metromix” which was also posted on the AAN web site.


As for newspapers in general, it’s not been a good year already.  Hearing about free entertainment print publications being cashed in by their owners just adds more definition to the story.  But on the other hand, if the reader demand was great enough for these products in the first place and they weren’t simply daily newspaper “products” we might see some of them remain on the racks for few more years.