New Youth Paper to Hit Madison

By: Jennifer Saba

Capital Newspapers announced Wednesday the launch of a new publication, Core Weekly, aimed at young adults in Madison, Wis. The paper will place an emphasis on arts and entertainment coverage from a youthful perspective, said Clayton Frink, president of Capital Newspapers.

Set to make its debut in six to eight weeks, the new paper will operate under its own newly created division. Capital Newspapers publishes both the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times. Capital Newspapers is owned jointly by Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa, and The Capital Times Co.

In a memo to staffers, Frink and Capital Newspapers Chairman Jim Hopson, wrote, “We recognized that in Madison, as in every other U.S. market, the daily newspapers were not consistently read by younger adults. We concluded that if the dailies were not the best medium to reach that important audience, perhaps another kind of publication could do the job better.”

Capital Newspapers tapped Catherine Nelson as publisher. She is currently a paid consultant and associate publisher of Milwaukee’s alternative weekly, Shepherd Express. Louis Fortis, owner and publisher of the Express, said she would continue working at his paper as a consultant. Calls to Nelson were not returned by Wednesday afternoon.

Core Weekly will compete directly with Isthmus, the alternative weekly in Madison and Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) member. AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel said he was troubled by Nelson’s actions at the AAN convention this year. “We held a members-only session called ‘Competing With Faux Alts,’ which was designed to help our members respond to the tsunami of fake alternative newspapers started by daily paper companies,” Karpel said. “It troubles me that Catherine Nelson sat in on that session and will use the information she gathered to help the Capital Times launch a fake alternative weekly against an AAN member in Madison.”

Nelson worked for alternative papers In Pittsburgh and Pulp, also in Pittsburgh. Both have folded.

Daily newspapers are continuing to encroach on alt weeklies. “The one thing we agree on is that we’re alternatives to daily papers,” explained Andy Newman, editor of Pittsburgh City Paper. “We respect and regard daily papers, but that’s who we do battle with.”

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