Thursday, April 20, 2006
ONE SQUID’S INK… Squid is a little bit anxious and a little bit excited—but not all that surprised—to see that the hipsters at the Salinas Californian are getting set to launch a cool weekly newspaper. Or, rather, that the suits at the GANNETT COMPANY (which owns the Californian) are getting ready to launch a fake alternative weekly newspaper.
A colleague sent Squid a link to an impressive Web site announcing the launch of Ink “to debut on May 4 in exclusive orange racks throughout Monterey County.” Squid shrugged—it was bound to happen. Gannett has launched similar publications from coast to coast: Noise in Lansing, Mich.; Core Weekly in Madison, Wisc.; Thr!ve in Boise, Idaho; Cin Weekly in Cincinnati; The Insider in Rochester, NY—Squid could go on. In fact, Gannett is the biggest owner of weekly newspapers in the country.
There are so many that there is a name for these papers in journalism circles—“faux alts.” Why would the Californian, er…Gannett, want to launch a fake alternative weekly? The answer is on the Web site: “Ink will reach an audience that has money to spend on local entertainment, dining and style.” The faux alts try and get at this market by imitating papers like this one (minus the investigative reporting, minus the politics, minus the depth). And already we know that the folks at Ink are ready to steal good ideas—they stole their name from the Carmel High School student newspaper, which is called (guess?) Ink!
Then again, they probably didn’t know about it. Gannett is based in Tyson’s Corner, Va.
IT WORKED FOR CHICAGO… Earlier this week, Salinas leaders announced that the city has been selected as a finalist for a NATIONAL CIVIC LEAGUE ALL-AMERICA CITY AWARD. If Salinas is one of the 10 cities selected to receive the prestigious designation, city officials say the title could help improve Salinas’ image and attract more businesses—and their much-needed tax dollars. It’s the latest in a long-list of extreme makeover attempts for the city—and Squid is crossing all Squid’s tentacles that this one will actually work. The ALL-AMERICA CITY JURY will decide at a meeting in Anaheim on June 10 and 11.
But, in Squid’s humble opinion, SALINAS VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE chairman and mayoral hopeful DENNIS DONOHUE has got a good back-up plan.
At a press conference on April 17, announcing Salinas’ finalist status, attendees were joking about the 10-minute presentation to the jury in Anaheim.
“Perhaps we are really en route to Salinas: The Musical,” Donohue told the Monterey County Herald. Now if a musical wouldn’t cast Salinas in a soft, glowing light, Squid doesn’t know what would.