We're a hot commodity," raves Richard Karpel, executive director of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN). "Things are moving in the right direction."
So it would seem. Even as daily newspapers and city magazines struggle to hold on to readers, so-called "alternative newsweeklies"--those complimentary papers you see in coffee bars and music stores--are making quite an impression on businesses wanting to appeal to young consumers. Why? It's simple: Aside from their growing circulation, newsweeklies often possess a street credibility that mainstream media lack.
"There's been a tremendous surge [in popularity] over the past three or four years of our papers in particular but also of alternatives throughout the country," says Michael Sigman, publisher of both LA Weekly and OC Weekly.
In Karpel's estimation, AAN members now enjoy a combined readership ranging between 17 million and 18 million. What's more, an overwhelming majority of these readers are between 18 and 34 years old. "Our papers are part of the environment that younger people live in and relate to," says Karpel, adding that these alternative newsweeklies aren't limited to major metropolitan cities like Los Angeles and New York.
Our conclusion? Alternative newsweeklies are hot off the press.
Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, (202) 822-1955, firstname.lastname@example.org