Our Annual Report
The current issue of Newcity marks twenty-nine years for us. Whew. You’ll note that we’ve undertaken a global theme with this issue. While it’s a package of stories (and a poem!) we’re especially proud of, there’s a little bit more at work here, as we’re this week launching Newcity Brazil, and thought it a good time to put our “mouth” where our money was.
Read Brian Hieggelke’s annual report here
By Mark Hanzlik, Executive Director
Our last entry in this blog space was certainly not filled with good vibrations and some of that news had been from the New England area. Now, we have some good news to report from a region also sending their own team, the Patriots to yet another Super Bowl.
Late last year and early into this new year, there were several stories about the outcome of ownership changes and two possible alt weeklies competing for space in Portland, Maine. Longtime AWN member, Portland Phoenix found a new owner as it was sold November 12 to ownership group behind The Portland Sun. On the surface very little has changed in the operation of The Phoenix since that transfer of ownership though the new ownership was closely watching the expansion of Boston-based Dig in the market. This week, another transaction between owners of new Portland Dig and Portland News Club LLC, parent company of Portland Phoenix halted the publishing of Dig immediately.
Elsewhere in the region, Seven Days founders Pamela Polston and Paula Routly will be honored in February as they are inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame. Seven Days which has been published continuously since 1995 has already received their share of awards and validation of their success in the Burlington, VT market. Their company, Da Capo Publishing, produces five print products and numerous events and digital platforms supporting a staff of more than 60 locally.
By Mark Hanzlik, Executive Director
It was a big enough surprise last week when we heard The Providence Phoenix would be publishing their last issue on October 16 after 36 years. Adding to our surprise was the rapid closure of Metro Pulse in Knoxville, TN on the same day.
Both publications were currently represented by AWN and charter members since the formal incorporation of the Alternative Weekly Network in 1996.
Apparently, we were not quite done reading about well-thumbed alt media being shuttered, San Francisco Bay Guardian was closed suddenly by San Francisco Media Company on Wednesday.
The Bay Guardian had a long an storied relationship with this network and its predecessor CAL-AAN which began in 1990. That association ended in 2012 when founders Bruce Brugmann and Jean Dibble sold the paper to publishers of the San Francisco Examiner. We covered that transaction via this blog in a short entry two years ago.
The closure of these three publications, particularly the nearly 50-year-old Bay Guardian initiated a flurry of media coverage from within the publishing world. The New Yorker‘s straightforward piece on the abrupt end of the historic San Francisco freebie does little to improve our view of alt weeklies long-term love affair with the communities they have doggedly covered for years. But on the other hand, the aggressive local investigative coverage and devotion to local arts & entertainment provided by Alt Media is a void yet to be filled by other media forms.
Creative Loafing’s Charlotte, North Carolina alternative weekly was purchased this week by Womack Newspapers (publishers of Yes! Weekly in Greensboro). The deal will be complete when Charles Womack who launched Yes! Weekly in 2005 makes his way to Charlotte and takes over as publisher of Creative Loafing on September 1.
The current owner of Creative Loafing in Charlotte, SouthComm, Inc. based in Nashville, Tenn., will continue to own and operate Creative Loafing brands in Atlanta and Tampa markets. All three Creative Loafing weeklies were charter members of AWN in mid-1990’s and have been sold several times over the past five years.
Yes! Weekly became a member of AWN in 2005, shortly after Womack launched the free entertainment-based weekly in Greensboro. Womack Newspapers Inc., publishes two other weeklies, the Jamestown News, and Outer Banks Sentinel in Nags Head.
Here’s a great piece from digiday.com where Tom Goodwin debunks five often-repeated statements about where advertising is headed in the future. The 5 Biggest Myths of Modern Advertising from July 28, 2014. Though it’s unfortunate for those of us living in the print biz to admit, TV is certainly far from dead. We’re glad to see someone remove the gauze over the ad industry’s hyperbole.
1. TV is dead
2. Consumers want conversations with brands
3. Brands must create great content
4. Advertising is about storytelling
5. Advertising spend should be correlated with consumer’s time spent with media