AAN News

30th Anniversary Issue of the Austin Chronicle On Stands Today

In honor of the occasion, the 30th anniversary issue of the Austin Chronicle on stands today will unveil a redesign of the paper. (FULL STORY)
Austin Chronicle  |  09-01-2011  12:57 pm  |  Press Releases

Village Voice Editor Tony Ortega Fires Backnew

Village Voice editor Tony Ortega has fired back at Austin Chronicle editor Louis Black's suggestion that some weekly publications lost their alt-cred when they were bought by publishing chains.
Village Voice  |  07-28-2010  3:17 pm  |  Industry 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 '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

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

Louis Black Reminisces About 25 Years at the Austin Chroniclenew

The first issue was a "disaster," says the Chronicle's co-founder, "a calamity so legendary that, for much of a decade, copies of it were not allowed in the office." The cover featured Shock Treatment, a movie destined never to open, and it was completely purple as the result of a miscommunication with the printer. The present-day Chronicle is "a paper as honest as we can get it," Black says. "We don't just create this paper, we're fans. We can't wait to see what's going to be in the next issue and the next and the next." In addition to Black's column in the Sept. 8 issue, the Chronicle posted a 25th anniversary photo album online.
Austin Chronicle  |  09-07-2006  8:16 am  |  Industry News

Louis Black: AltWeekly Awards Honor Papers Most Like Glossy Mags

In the last issue of his alt-weekly's 25th year, Louis Black offers up "Ten Ways of Looking at an Austin Chronicle," one of which is as a "non-award-winning weekly." Black says that the Austin Chronicle staff usually doesn't have time to submit entries in the AltWeekly Awards, and even when they do, they "rarely win." (The Chronicle has won a total of five awards, including a 2006 first-place award for Drugs Reporting.) "I argue that this is because the awards have evolved to the point where they honor the weeklies that are the most like the glossy magazines, with very long, in-depth stories beating out most of the others," Black writes. "More often than not, many papers engage in the type of 'gotcha! journalism' in which a City Council member is exposed to be self-serving, using public money to enrich him or herself, and/or to be found with an underage boy or girl or animal of any age."
08-31-2006  12:15 pm  |  Industry News

Austin Chronicle Participates in Class-Action Suit Against AT&Tnew

AP via Fort Worth Star-Telegram  |  05-19-2006  12:20 pm  |  Industry News

'I'm Not as Big of an (Expletive) as I Used to Be,' Says Louis Blacknew

The co-founder and editor of the Austin Chronicle is a self-loathing, temperamental, explosive jerk. And that's just what his friends say about him. Despite his foibles, however, everyone seems to agree that this amazingly passionate man (pictured), co-founder of the SXSW music, film and interactive festivals, deserves a lot of credit for Austin's cultural prominence. "Without Black, a music fanatic and film savant, the self-proclaimed 'Live Music Capital of the World' would lack much of its cultural stock," writes Chris Garcia in the Austin American-Statesman. "I look back and think that in some ways I am the luckiest person I know," says Black. "I do what I love. I do it every day."
Austin American-Statesman (reg. req.)  |  03-13-2006  3:35 pm  |  Industry News

Austin Chronicle Editor Produces Documentarynew

Greg Mitchell's Thursday column on EditorandPublisher.com describes Louis Black's role in financing and producing Be Here to Love Me, a new documentary about the late singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt. Black was personally acquainted with Van Zandt, and describes him as "usually pretty fucked up but very friendly." The Chronicle also printed a cover story about the film; Black says that "if the staff felt it was a conflict of interest, believe me, I would have heard about it." Be Here to Love Me has been well-reviewed for its warts-and-all portrayal of Van Zandt. Black is now working on a book about the films of Jonathan Demme.
Editor & Publisher  |  12-23-2005  9:42 am  |  Industry News