Tag Archives: netnewscheck

Coverage of Alts at SF Digital Confab Brings Attention to Opps

By Mark Hanzlik, AWN Executive Director

Just when we thought business media was done writing about The Alts, and our day in the sun had passed as far as being media darlings (late 90’s, early 00’s), we received some generally positive reviews by NetNewsCheck at our Web Conference in San Francisco.    NetNewsCheck writer Michael Depp traveled from his New Orleans base to what has become an annual Digital Conference held in San Francisco last week.

The Alt Industry coverage was mixed in both pieces published by NetNewsCheck.  The first “Alt Weeklies Mine Roots To Drive Web Rev” a one-on-one with Stranger founder, Tim Keck who says alts must draw on their strengths, and the second “Agile Alt Media Adapting to Digital Challenges” a round-up of a more diverse group of industry spokespeople, discussing the challenges and opportunities for alt media publishers in the digital world.

Depp also spoke with yours truly (Hanzlik) to gain some insight and get a read on the state of the industry from our point-of-view.   AWN’s digital network is comprised of nearly 170 individual web sites with more than half of those currently members of AAN.    From the large pool of sites,  digital revenue is estimated in 5-20% of overall ad revenue, though we’ve heard from some mid-size markets who are earning more than 20% of their current ad revenue from digital.

Much of the digital round-up story by Depp focused the limited resources Alt Publishers are facing in successfully transitioning their business model to a digital one.  He also gathered and presented the success stories from many of the mid-size and smaller market alt publishers, a positive sign the imprint many of these publications have made in their marketplace is long-standing and transferable to other platforms.

For more about the web convention, presentations and participants, check in to the AAN member section at altweeklies.com.

Portland Alternative, Willamette Week Featured in National Newspaper Report

Just out, a new report about the future of the newspaper industry from WhoNeedsNewspapers.org covers 50 publications in 50 States.   Willamette Week is the sole alt weekly newspaper featured in the report, representing Oregon in the mostly daily newspaper roundup.

The industry report doesn’t provide a clear, single message as to what that future might be, but they conclude after gathering a number of interviews with newspaper editors, publishers and digital managers that “print is not dead.”


The story was first reported on NetNewsCheck, where you’ll find an overview of the findings presented on Monday before the Society of Professional Journalists/Radio Television Digital News Association conference in New Orleans.   The verdict may still be out, but after reading the report and viewing the video interviews with a number of successful publishers and editors, you can’t help but feel the buzz.

Willamette Week’s inclusion in this study was more than token move by the group.  The well-edited, arts & entertainment weekly alternative has been winning awards for their investigative coverage for many years (including a 2005 Pulitzer Prize for “The 30-Year Secret”).    Co-owners, Richard Meeker (publisher) and Mark Zusman (editor) have been connecting with readers and promoting arts & entertainment in the Portland market since 1984, both are interviewed and provide comments about their successful publishing and editorial strategies.

Willamette Week has been a member of The Alternative Weekly Network since 1994.