Riverfront Times turns 30.Dozens of writers have come and gone at the Riverfront Times The Riverfront Times (also known as the RFT) is an alternative newsweekly in St. Louis, Missouri, that consists of local politics, personals, a weekly column by Dan Savage, and arts and entertainment coverage. since Ray Hartmann founded the free weekly alternative newspaper in 1977.
Hartmann and co-owner Mark Vittert sold it for an undiselosed amount in 1998. At the time, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
Mark blatant advertising for , using . quoted estimates that, based on the paper's annual gross revenues of 86 million, New Times paid about $10 million for the St. Louis newsweekly. With the purchase of the RFT See DCA.
RFT - Request For Technology , New Times then owned 10 newsweeklies. The firm is now called Village Voice Media, is based in Phoenix and owns 17 papers, including the Village Voice.
Hartmann, who can be described as a liberal Republican, wrote a popular weekly column that continued for a time after the paper was sold. At the time of the sale, it was announced he would be a spokesman for New Times, promoting its papers and the noteworthy articles published in those papers. It was a role that never really materialized for him, though he continued to write his column for the paper until 2002.
Hartmann remains a regular on the KETC (Channel 9) "Donnybrook Donnybrook, parish and suburb of Dublin, Co. Dublin, E central Republic of Ireland. It was famous for its annual fair, licensed by King John of England in 1204 and suppressed in 1855 because of its disorderliness. ," as was Vittert. The two now own St. Louis Magazine.
More than a few ex-RFT employees accepted their severance pay Severance Pay
Compensation that an employer gives to someone who is about to lose their job.
Severance pay is not always paid to employees. It depends on the situation in which the employee is losing their job and whether legislation requires severance to be paid. from New Times on the condition they not speak publicly about New Times.
That said, a phrase uttered back in the early '90s by a New Times staffer seems to sum up the experience of many of the former writers: "It was a dream job that turned into a nightmare."
On the surface, talk of more resources, more time to spend on an article and more space for it to run all sounded good. Yet the long distance control of the paper by owners in Arizona and second lieutenants in Colorado soon took its toll on the locality and feel of the weekly.
There also was a concern that the aging baby-boomer readership had to change, so efforts were made to appeal to a younger audience.
There was not an immediate house-cleaning when New Times bought the money-making RFT, except for the departure of long-time staff writer Thomas Crone crone
see crock. . But once the New Times paper in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. folded in 2002, attention and action were directed at the St. Louis property. It was around this time that Jeannette Batz, Eddie Silva, C.D. Stelzer, Melinda Roth, D.J. Wilson, Geri Dreiling, Rene Spencer Sailer Sail´er
n. 1. A sailor.
2. A ship or other vessel; - with qualifying words descriptive of speed or manner of sailing; as, a heavy sailer; a fast sailer s>. , Cliff Froelich and Safir Ahmed all left-some leaving of their own volition vo·li·tion
1. The act or an instance of making a conscious choice or decision.
2. A conscious choice or decision.
3. The power or faculty of choosing; the will. , others being jettisoned.
AS of 2007, the circulation of the free RFT has dropped to 87,000 from a reported high of about 100,000 when New Times bought it in 1998.
As was shown in the Kristen Hinman stories on Vashon basketball coach Floyd Irons, the paper can still fill the coverage gap when other media ignores or under-reports stories. However, those instances are increasingly rare. The paper shows an aversion to in-depth political reportage or any attempt at explanatory journalism about difficult social topics. It seems to prefer to pursue long features about people or trends intended to appeal to a young demographic.
As the staff has changed, it reads as a paper not only owned by out-of-towners, but also written by them. For other New Times towns--Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Miami--that justpulled-into-town perspective from a writer is not that detrimental since those places are growing at a much faster rate than St. Louis, which is much more insular. However flawed and polemical the old, pre-New Times RFT was, it had a touch and feel about St. Louis that is lacking in the current product.
As the piece in this issue of SJR SJR Senate Joint Resolution
SJR Superjoint Ritual (band)
SJR St John Rigby (Catholic Sixth Form College)
SJR Signal-To-Jammer Ratio
SJR Saint Joseph Regional High School (USA) by Roland Klose discloses, demands for provocative and outrageous stories, including hoaxes, are dictated from editors more than a thousand miles away. The idea is not to produce quality journalism, but to "create a buzz" that brings attention to the RFT--good or bad. They do the same with their other weeklies. The executive editor of the chain is Michael Lacey Michael Lacey is an American mathematician. Lacey received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987, under the direction of Walter Philipp. His thesis was in the area of Probability in Banach Spaces, and solved a problem related to law of the iterated . Andy Van De Voorde is the executive associate editor.
Jeannette Batz, now Jeannette Cooperman, won national writing awards for the RFT before and after its sale to New Times. She voted with her feet in 2002 when she decided the new regime had become exceedingly boorish boor·ish
Resembling or characteristic of a boor; rude and clumsy in behavior.
boorish·ly adv. and vacuous.
"New Times is a seductive organization," Cooperman says. "It lures writers with the rare and intoxicating in·tox·i·cate
v. in·tox·i·cat·ed, in·tox·i·cat·ing, in·tox·i·cates
1. To stupefy or excite by the action of a chemical substance such as alcohol.
2. promise of time--a full month to do real research and write a long-form narrative piece. New Times (I am trying very hard to keep this an objective assessment of the company and not of the aggressive blowhards who run it) makes good on that promise, and the experience can be deeply satisfying, even euphoric.
"But you sober up Verb 1. sober up - become sober after excessive alcohol consumption; "Keep him in bed until he sobers up"
become, get, go - enter or assume a certain state or condition; "He became annoyed when he heard the bad news"; "It must be getting more serious"; fast when you're exhorted, as we were, to 'bitch-slap 'era off the barstool'--in other words, use the kind of tactics, language and approach that will win the company what it most craves--attention. That's not the kind of journalism I ever wanted to practice. Not if I had all the time in the world."
She was an RFT staff writer from 1993-2002. She is now a staff writer for St. Louis Magazine and, until earlier this year, was its editor.
C.D. Stelzer, a freelancer and staff writer for the RFT for more than 10 years, said: "I should have sensed a sea change at the newspaper when I overheard the editorial assistant struggling to hear what Ray Hartmann was saying to her over the phone.
"Hartmann was asking her to look up one of his old commentaries on the stadium issue. He was scrambling to write his weekly column, which was normal. But she couldn't hear what he was saying because he was calling her on his cell phone from Miami Beach. The ocean surf was drowning out his words."