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Alt-Weekly Publisher Files for Chapter 11

 by Danielle Maestretti


Tags: media, alt-weeklies, local newspapers, bankruptcy, Creative Loafing, Chicago Reader, Washington City Paper, Ben Eason, Danielle Maestretti,

Chicago Reader coverCreative Loafing Inc., which owns eponymous alt-weeklies in Tampa, Atlanta, Sarasota, and Charlotte, as well as the Chicago Reader and the Washington City Paper, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on September 29. CEO Ben Eason assured employees that the move will leave editorial budgets and staffs intact, and it looks like all six titles are planning to continue publishing in print, though editors are being encouraged to pursue "web-first" strategies. 

“I’m filing [bankruptcy] because the economy sucks,” said Eason, whose parents founded Creative Loafing Atlanta in 1972. He told employees that the "safe harbor" of Chapter 11 would allow the company to work out a solid online advertising strategy and reorder its finances.

“This isn’t a failing company,” Eason wrote in an email to his newspapers’ executives, “but instead one caught squarely by this challenging economy between old media and new media.”