Alternative weekly paper, Creative Loafing, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. John Sugg posted on Creative Loafing’s Fresh Loaf blog today that “prompting the move was a debt load of more than $40 million.” Creative Loafing Inc. publishes alternative weekly papers in six cities including Atlanta and is the second-most broadly distributed newspaper in Georgia.
I traded emails with Creative Loafing Editor, Ken Edelstein, this afternoon:
“At the local level, we’re continuing to operate as we normally do. Ben [Eason, CEO of Creative Loafing] told me he filed for bankruptcy to restructure our debt — not to change any of our operations. If anything, the filing should give the editorial staff breathing room to continue to grow page views, which has been a struggle — although the growth of our blogs (FreshLoaf, OmnivoreAtlanta and CribNotes) has finally gotten some traction. We did go through some cutbacks last month, and there’s no guarantee in this economic environment for any media company, but I’d say the filing gives us a bit more space in operating units like the edit department.”
It should prove interesting to see through the rest of 2008 and into 2009′s first quarter whether operations with Creative Loafing’s print efforts maintain as usual, how the continuing development of their online properties affects their growth online, and whether that growth will continue to help support the print. Drive A Faster Car will continue to support Creative Loafing in any way possible. Heaven forbid, Atlanta is stuck with an exoskeleton.
Creative Loafing was founded in 1972 by Debby Eason in Atlanta and later opened several other papers in the Southeast. Her son, Ben, who owned the Tampa paper, acquired the rest of the family newspapers in 2000.