'Creative Loafing' ends weekly print edition, focused on monthly, digital


Credit: Rodney Ho

This was posted on Thursday, August 17, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc..com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

For decades, in-town Atlantans would pick up free copies of "Creative Loafing" at the local pizza place or bookstore or bar to keep up with local culture and news, as well as peruse the advertising for what's going on in concerts, plays and other events.

But the Internet and the smartphone made that activity less necessary. Today, "Creative Loafing" announced it was ending its weekly print edition, going monthly instead and focusing its energies on its digital platform. (You can access it here.)

"We've been seeing this through interactions with our audience and advertisers and how we consume information," said publisher Sharry Smith said in an interview today. "It was a very logical conclusion to make. We're in a whole new era."

The first monthly edition is out today in about 1,000 locations, mostly in town. They've added a glossy cover but it's still tabloid. "We not only will focus on digital expansion," Smith said,j "we want to make the print product more of a trophy piece that people want to have and have staying power. We won't stray from our brand and content we've always covered. The print publication will be beefier and more of a sit-back experience."

ExplorePrevious owner Ben Eason had purchased back "Creative Loafing" earlier this year.

"Honestly, I was surprised they lasted as a weekly as long as they did, following their page counts," said Patrick Best, who owned rival The Sunday Paper from 2004 until 2011 but also worked at Creative Loafing 1999 to 2004 during its heyday. He said an alternative press is still needed and necessary. "It will be a shock to the system for their readers. I'm curious to see what the monthly print product looks like."

The final weekly edition came out July 17. Carlton Hargro, editor in chief, wrote this online:

[W]e've beefed up our page count, switched to a fancy cover stock and rolled out a brand-spanking-new logo. Once you flip deeper into this edition, you'll see we've extended the redesign vibe through the entire issue. On top of that, this month we're bringing back some sorely missed editorial elements from back in the day (our Arts Agenda and Soundboard listings, for example) and rolling out some newness as well (such as a revamped News & Culture Briefs).

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