AAN News

Are Alt-Weeklies Becoming "Less Alternative"?new

In a post-convention column about the state of the alt-weekly industry, Austin Chronicle editor Louis Black argues that many weekly papers have become "less alternative" since being purchased by larger media groups.
Austin Chronicle  |  07-27-2010  5:13 pm  |  Industry News  |  Comments (1)

Austin Chronicle Editor Louis Black Reflects on SXSW's Growthnew

"It was basically four guys sitting around a room talking a lot. We would work on the Chronicle, take a break and talk more. We focused a lot on the big picture, but also the details," Black says about the time he and three friends founded the South by Southwest festival in the late 1980s. "We would sit there night after night and ask things like, 'OK, you land at the airport -- what happens next?'" Black has seen SXSW -- which happens next month in Austin -- grow from a music festival into a huge international event that also incorporates interactive and film festivals, and employs about 40 staffers. But despite the growth, Black says the festival remains true to its roots. "After all these years, SXSW is really still about creative people coming together face-to-face and collaborating," he says.
Southwest Austin  |  02-26-2010  11:24 am  |  Industry News

Two Alt-Weekly Leaders Talk About Their 'Local First' Effortsnew

Joe Grafton, the executive director of Somerville Local First, interviews East Bay Express publisher Jody Colley and Austin Chronicle editor Louis Black for a piece in Boston's Weekly Dig about the local movement across the country. Colley talks about the campaign she organized last year that encouraged alt-weekly readers across the country to do their holiday shopping locally, and Black discusses the "symbiotic" relationship the Chronicle has with the local business community. Grafton has posted fuller interview clips of both of them on his Shift Across America blog.
Boston's Weekly Dig  |  08-21-2009  2:21 pm  |  Industry News

Austin Chronicle Staffer Wins Award from Planning Nonprofitnew

Envision Central Texas, which advocates for regional cooperation and planning, has awarded Chronicle staff writer Katherine Gregor with a 2008 Community Stewardship Award for Raising Public Awareness. "Katherine presents an in-depth, objective, and realistic angle, even in the face of controversy," Envision says in a release.
Envision Central Texas  |  05-13-2009  9:31 am  |  Honors & Achievements

The Austin Chronicle Set to Host its First-Ever Mayoral Debate

The Hustle for Mayor event, which is scheduled for tomorrow night, will feature campaign-themed drink specials and a "no-holds-barred rhyme-off" between the candidates. "I've been to tons of election forums where the candidates outnumber the folks in the audience," says forum creator and host Wells Dunbar. "With The Hustle for Mayor, the Chronicle and I are really excited to promote and present a fun and informative forum, one that we think will attract younger voters who wouldn't ordinarily turn up." (FULL STORY)
The Austin Chronicle Press Release  |  04-20-2009  11:57 am  |  Press Releases

Alt-Weekly Scribes Win National Food Writing Awardsnew

Miami New Times' Lee Klein and Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kauffman finished first in the Newspaper and Internet categories, respectively, in this year's Bert Greene Awards. In addition, the Austin Chronicle's MM Pack was a finalist in the Newspaper category. The awards, which are organized by the International Association of Culinary Professionals, "recognize excellence in food journalism." Winners were announced last weekend in Denver.
International Association of Culinary Professionals  |  04-08-2009  8:12 am  |  Honors & Achievements

Austin Chronicle Columnist Charged With Arsonnew

Stephen MacMillan Moser, who writes the alt-weekly's "After a Fashion" column, was arrested yesterday on arson charges, the Austin American-Statesman reports. He is suspected of setting his roommate's car on fire in the City Hall parking garage earlier this month. The Chronicle reports that Moser has been released on personal bond and is now staying with friends.
The Austin American-Statesman | The Austin Chronicle  |  03-25-2009  11:36 am  |  Industry News

Austin Chronicle 'Continues to Thrive' by Staying Localnew

The alt-weekly has revenue of approximately $8.5 million a year, has not laid off anyone and has no plans to do so, New York Times columnist David Carr reports. He says that part of why the paper has been successful is because of its ties to the community. "The Chronicle is knit into civic and cultural life in Austin to a degree that may make other newspapers nervous," Carr writes.
The New York Times  |  03-23-2009  10:51 am  |  Industry News

Candidate for U.S. Senate Lifts Austin Chronicle Video for Adnew

In an attempt to link Democratic challenger Rick Noriega to the infamous Howard Dean "scream" of '04, a new campaign ad from incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) "jacked" footage from an Austin Chronicle video showing Noriega excitedly giving his version of CNN's election-night broadcast. The Chronicle's Wells Dunbar says the paper is "considering all our options" in response to what he calls "the unsanctioned, unapproved, and unstatesmanlike" use of its video. But two of Cornyn's spokesmen tell the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau blogger that they consider their use of the alt-weekly's video covered by the "fair use" exception in copyright law, and note their ad credited the paper as a source. "I don't think the Chronicle would be raising a peep of objection if their video didn't make Noriega look incredibly out of control," the campaign says.
Austin Chronicle  |  10-29-2008  10:13 am  |  Industry News

AAN Board Member Carol Flagg to Step Down

The Austin Chronicle's advertising director -- and AAN Retail Advertising Committee chair -- says she's leaving the paper in the first week of July. Flagg plans to move back home to Phoenix to start a new company that provides consulting services. She will step down from her position on the AAN Board of Directors following the board's meeting in June in Philadelphia. Her departure means someone will be elected at the convention to serve the one year remaining in her term as retail ad chair. (FULL STORY)
AAN News  |  04-08-2008  4:20 pm  |  Association News

Is a 'Generational Shift' Afoot in the Alt-Weekly Industry?new

That seems to be the opinion of Ed Avis, who looks at the challenges alt-weekly owners are facing in a piece for Quill, a magazine published by the Society for Professional Journalists. Not surprisingly, he says the biggest challenge to the business is the internet. He talks to the Austin Chronicle's Louis Black, Creative Loafing's Ben Eason, and Times Shamrock's Don Farley to see where they are at in relation to the internet, and, more importantly, where they're trying to go. Ultimately, Avis thinks that the challenge of the online market -- in concert with the aging of the original alt-weekly founders -- is what's behind the industry's increased consolidation. Northwestern University professor and Academy for Alternative Journalism director Charles Whitaker agrees. "I think the (older owners) have had difficulty adjusting and figuring out the new media landscape, particularly the internet and things like Craigslist," he says. "At the same time, a group of new owners said, 'We can do this as a chain. We still have our alternative press sensibilities, but by pooling our resources we can run these papers more efficiently than they had been run in the past.'"
Quill  |  01-25-2008  10:34 am  |  Industry News

Online Ad Firm Signs Six Alt-Weekly Clientsnew

Mediaspan, which calls itself "the leading provider of digital content management and national advertising solutions for over 4,000 local media properties," yesterday announced the addition of several new clients, including AAN members Philadelphia City Paper, Austin Chronicle, San Antonio Current, Salt Lake City Weekly, Arkansas Times and Jackson Free Press. "Our drive to deliver new, national revenue for our affiliate partners goes hand-in-hand with our goal of meeting the demands of national advertisers who want to reach a specific local audience, in markets large and small, across multiple types of media," says a Mediaspan executive. "Whether advertisers seek online display ads on newspaper websites, pre-roll video on TV websites or online radio audio streams, we can deliver."
Mediaspan Press Release  |  01-31-2007  3:19 pm  |  Industry News

L.A. Weekly Art Critic Paints, Sculpts, Toonew

Doug Harvey doesn't just sit around thinking about art; he also creates it. The alt-weekly critic will exhibit his paintings and sculptures in "Great Expectorations" this month and next at a gallery in L.A.’s Chinatown district. The gallery describes the exhibit as "a multi-faceted serial piece ... simultaneously disturbing and therapeutic." It's the artist-writer’s first solo show in almost a decade. ANOTHER ALT-WEEKLY WRITER-ARTIST: Austin Chronicle arts editor Robert Faires stars in "In on It," which returns this month after being "the Austin theater hit of the summer," says the Austin American-Statesman.
High Energy Constructs  |  01-12-2007  1:20 am  |  Honors & Achievements

Chronicle Laureate Fathers Texas Hip-Hop Novel

University of Texas graduate student Linden Dalecki has spun his first-place prize in the Austin Chronicle's 2004 short story contest into a full-blown novel. Dalecki thickened the plot of the story, "The B-Boys of Beaumont," a young-adult yarn about breakdancing in the Texas outback, into a book deal with publisher Houghton Mifflin. In an interview with The Austin American-Statesman, Dalecki describes the novel, Kid B, as "sort of Rumble Fish meets The Outsider, set in the world of hip-hop."
10-02-2006  2:33 pm  |  Industry News