By Mark Hanzlik, Executive Director
We’re proud to announce the 15th anniversary of The Alternative Weekly Network (AWN) the 90-member national ad sales cooperative. It was 15 years ago this month when we first gathered 15 task force members of the newly incorporated AWN in Sacramento. The enthusiastic sales group appointed themselves board members on the spot and the rest is, as they say, pretty much history.
Over the past 15 years, AWN has accumulated net billings that have exceeded $150 million. Who would have guessed at that first meeting that we would now be looking back at so many highs and lows, successful growth with such a large stable of publications and healthy advertiser base. The independent cooperative accomplished this all by using a member-empowered sales structure—fielding the industry’s single largest sales force on behalf of nearly 200 publication titles.
(here’s our first media kit from 1996, produced by Riverfront Times)
The idea of developing a cooperative network nationwide sprung out of earlier ad sales practices with a California-only network (CAL-AAN) that grew in 1992-1993, evolving into similar regional networks across the US (AAN-South, AAN-MidWest, etc.) in 1994-1995. But by 1996, it was clear that a formal, legal structure would need to be established and volunteer board of directors appointed.
Read the remainder of the story by connecting to AWN’s press release page.