AAN News

East Bay Express Publisher Talks Distribution Strategy

Jody Colley left her position as advertising director at the San Francisco Bay Guardian to become publisher of the East Bay Express when the paper was sold by Village Voice Media to local investors in May 2007. Since then, the Express has been working on a variety of distribution-related changes: Introducing graffiti-painted art racks, fighting newspaper theft by hiring a private eye, and trying to distribute a higher percentage of papers indoors. Express president Hal Brody has even patented a system that prevents people from taking more than a few papers out of a news box at a time. Colley recently talked to AAN News about these and other developments. For more from Jody Colley, check out her Q&A with newspaper consultant Terry Garrett on his blog. (FULL STORY)
AAN News  |  09-26-2008  4:20 pm  |  Industry News

California Bill to Fight Newspaper Theft Passes Senate

On Friday, the California State Senate passed AB 1778 by a margin of 21-16. The legislation places "modest requirements" on recyclers who engage in large cash transactions for newspapers or other materials. The legislation requires recyclers to pay by check and obtain ID from individuals who bring in more than $50 of newspapers. The law, which has been championed by the East Bay Express, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and other publications, passed the Assembly in June. If signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2009. (FULL STORY)
Assemblywoman Fiona Ma Press Release  |  08-25-2008  8:08 am  |  Press Releases

Another Paper Touched by Bob Thomas Marks His Passingnew

"Bob was a good man. Steady, confident, generous, and quick to smile beneath his salt and pepper 'stache," writes Chris Thompson in the East Bay Express. Thomas, who passed away July 12, ran the business side of the Express for six years in the 1990s. "Bob was the grownup who made sure the ads got sold, the circulation was working, the numbers got crunched; he took care of all the things our rumpus room needed," Thompson writes. "It wasn't fair that disease took his life so soon."
East Bay Express  |  07-23-2008  10:17 am  |  Industry News

Bob Thomas' Former Paper Remembers His Lifenew

Thomas, who passed away on July 12, was the first president of Pleasanton Weekly, owned by Palo Alto Weekly parent company Embarcadero Publishing. He was an original organizer of AAN West, and also worked for the East Bay Express. "For those who knew Bob, his accomplishments come as no surprise," says Embarcadero CFO Mike Naar. "Even so, they pale in comparison to the grace, good-naturedness and intelligent practicality he brought to work every day. His sense of humor, his incredible optimism, and his evenness defined the remarkable prince of a human being Bob was. We will all deeply miss him." Funeral services will be held Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Presbyterian Church in Burlingame, Calif. MORE: Read Thomas' obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Pleasanton Weekly  |  07-22-2008  8:38 am  |  Industry News

States and Publishers Fight Theft of Free Newspapersnew

In a story on the increased theft of curbside refuse and free newspapers, the Associated Press reports that legislation being considered in California "would make large-scale, anonymous recycling more difficult." The legislation, which was championed by the East Bay Express, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and other Bay Area publishers, would force recyclers to require a photo ID for anyone bringing in more than $50 worth of cans, bottles or newspapers and to pay the poachers with checks rather than cash. The AP also notes that the Express hired an ex-police detective to stake out thieves and began retrofitting curbside news boxes to make them theft-resistant. "We don't want to be spending all our energy printing papers that people take directly to the recyclers," Express president Hal Brody says.
The Associated Press  |  07-09-2008  8:47 am  |  Industry News

The East Bay Express Presents Wedding Wednesdays

East Bay Express Press Release  |  06-17-2008  12:44 pm  |  Press Releases

California Legislation Targets Free Newspaper Thievesnew

AB 1778, sponsored by Assemblymember Fiona Ma, passed the California Assembly by a vote of 45-24 on May 22 and is now headed to the State Senate, the Berkeley Daily Planet reports. The law would require recycling companies to identify those who bring recyclables and newspapers worth $50 or more to sell. "This should give us the ability to cut off the [poachers'] money supply," East Bay Express publisher Hal Brody says, since a full pick-up load of newsprint usually fetches $80 to $100. The Express, along with the San Francisco Bay Guardian and other Bay Area publications, has been pushing for more action on newspaper theft in the wake of a rash of heists.
The Berkeley Daily Planet  |  06-02-2008  10:07 am  |  Industry News

East Bay Express to Conduct Same-Sex Weddings

The paper is holding two "Wedding Wednesdays" where it will conduct free group weddings for twelve same-sex couples, "in celebration of the long overdue right for homosexual partners to legally marry in the state of California," according to a press release. The ceremonies will be conducted by Express marketing director Terry Furry on June 25 and July 2, with help from a local wedding planning company. In addition to the ceremonies, the Express will provide the twelve couples with a catered reception, honeymoon prize packages, professional photos, a published wedding announcement, and local media publicity. (FULL STORY)
East Bay Express Press Release  |  05-20-2008  8:58 am  |  Press Releases

Bay Area AAN Members Act to Fight Newspaper Theftnew

A rash of free newspaper heists is "making unlikely allies of Bay Area alternative publishers, whose intense competition over the years has seemed as much personal as a matter of business," Editor & Publisher reports. East Bay Express publisher Hal Brody has organized a group of free-paper publishers that is taking the thieves on with a two-front strategy: finding an aggressive DA who recognizes the real value of a free-circulation newspaper, and going after the recyclers who look the other way, according to E&P. Brody says he wasn't aware how bad the problem was until he and others bought the Express from Village Voice Media last year. "In one heavily trafficked area, where we lay out literally thousands of papers at dawn, we'd get calls from readers at noon that there were all gone," he says.
Editor & Publisher  |  03-06-2008  9:56 am  |  Industry News

East Bay Express Redesigns With Trimmed Size, Expanded Contentnew

"This week's issue marks a thorough redesign of the paper, only the fourth new design in the paper's 29 years," writes editor Stephen Buel. "It also is the culmination of the transformation we intended to make when a group of investors bought the Express last year and returned it to independence and local control." Changes include a 1.5 inch reduction in the height of the paper and four additional pages of editorial content.
East Bay Express  |  02-20-2008  12:51 pm  |  Industry News

Bay Area Papers Try to Combat Wave of Free Paper Theftnew

A recent surge in newspaper theft has a coalition of Bay Area newspapers -- including the East Bay Express and the San Francisco Bay Guardian -- asking local authorities to help pursue thieves both on the street and at the recycling businesses where they fence the stolen goods, according to the Berkeley Daily Planet. The Express is doing more than just asking cops for help, though. The Planet reports that after complaints to local police failed to result in the apprehension of a man repeatedly seen stealing papers, the alt-weekly hired a private investigator. On his first night out, the private eye caught the thief with more than 500 copies of the Express -- and nearly as many Bay Guardians -- in his truck. Express publisher Hal Brody says that stopping the thefts will take more than arresting street-level thieves -- rather, he thinks cops need to target the recycling businesses that accept the contraband. A meeting between Oakland police and local publishers to discuss how to stem the tide of theft is planned for the near future, the Planet reports.
Berkeley Daily Planet  |  12-27-2007  8:26 am  |  Industry News

Alleged Free Paper Thief Caught in Oaklandnew

Police say they caught an East Bay man loading piles of free papers -- including the East Bay Express -- into a vehicle early Wednesday morning, the Oakland Tribune reports. In California, taking more than 25 papers is a crime. A witness called police after following the suspect during repeated trips to a recycling center, where the suspect would turn in the papers for cash, according to a police source. No word on if this was the same thief featured on this site last month.
The Oakland Tribune  |  12-21-2007  10:04 am  |  Industry News

Membership of Five Papers Up for Review in 2008

Due to a 2004 change in the association's bylaws, five papers that have taken on new majority owners in the past two years will have their AAN membership reviewed in 2008. The Membership Committee will evaluate The Other Paper, Boston's Weekly Dig, East Bay Express, Metro Pulse, and Cityview, and will issue a report to members a week before the 2007 annual convention. To retain their membership, each paper must be affirmed by at least one-third of the members voting at the annual meeting in Philadelphia, which is tentatively scheduled for June 7. (FULL STORY)
AAN  |  12-12-2007  11:46 am  |  Association News

Why Isn't the East Bay Express Part of the Chauncey Bailey Project?new

A few weeks back, we noted that the San Francisco Bay Guardian had joined a number of Bay Area groups in the investigative project to continue the slain journalist's work. But there was one glaring omission from the list of participating organizations: The East Bay Express, which five years ago investigated the group Bailey was writing about and whose staffers suffered death threats because of it, was not included. "It's definitely odd that the one newspaper that owned the story of Your Black Muslim Bakery wasn't invited to participate in this project until after it was formally announced," Express editor Stephen Buel tells SF Weekly. Buel says he'd heard that one of the news outlets in the Bailey Project had a beef with his paper, but that a project organizer recently assured him that it was not an intentional snub and invited the Express to participate. The paper has declined the belated invitation, and will continue to pursue the story on its own.
SF Weekly  |  10-24-2007  11:48 am  |  Industry News