News - A note from CL’s editor

Tuesday was a heartwrenching day at Creative Loafing.

By the time you read this, we will have begun work on the most significant change in our Atlanta newspaper in years: We’re expanding CL/Atlanta deeper into the suburbs and folding some unique copy into the middle of two Gwinnett and Topside editions. Everyone will get the whole Loaf now — not just half of it.

I think we’re doing the right thing for our readers. We’ve spent too much time and energy putting out two smaller papers that had some good local articles but didn’t give suburban readers as much as what the downtown paper has to offer. Now, the staff and freelancers will be able to concentrate on putting out one great alternative paper, and 45,000 more readers will get more News, Vibes, Flicks, Arts and other features.

The downside of all this is that some very good people are losing their jobs. It boils down to the fact that it takes fewer people to put out one big paper than it takes to put out one big paper and two little ones. At presstime, we expected a total of about 10 people in our editorial, production and distribution departments to lose their jobs directly because of this change. And some freelancers will lose their gigs.

I’m hoping this is the last in a series of difficult changes that have taken effect on Willoughby Way since Ben Eason and company bought Creative Loafing Inc. last fall and merged the Atlanta-based chain into his Tampa-based alt-weekly company (you may recall that Cox Newspapers is an investor in that deal). Other jobs have been eliminated because corporate functions were moved down to Tampa.

I can’t really argue with those decisions. But all told, they’ve shaken employees around here a bit. It didn’t help morale that the Gwinnett/Topside move was pushed along quickly because it’s a tough year for the newspaper industry.

That sobering news aside, I’m more confident even than I was back in September that we’re developing a stronger alternative voice here. Please, don’t hesitate to give me feedback. I’ll try to keep you informed, as well.

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