Alaska Newspapers to publish new weekly

Posted: Sunday, July 21, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska Newspapers Inc. is launching a new weekly publication on Thursday.

The Anchorage Chronicle, a general interest newspaper, joins the roster of weekly newspapers distributed throughout the state by ANI, whose majority owner is Calista Corp., an Anchorage-based Native regional corporation for the Bethel area.

ANI publishes rural weeklies in its South Anchorage printing plant, including the Cordova Times, the Valdez Vanguard, the Arctic Sounder, the Dutch Harbor Fisherman, the Seward Phoenix LOG, the Bristol BayTimes and the Tundra Drums.

Like the rural papers, the Chronicle will be tabloid-sized. It will be available from vending machines and merchants around town and will sell for 25 cents per copy, compared to 75 cents for the rural papers. The Chronicle also will be available through mail subscription for $35 a year.

The paper will stress local news coverage, plus some articles from around the state, according to Alex DeMarban, ANI editor in chief. It won't carry national or international wire stories. ANI will print 10,500 copies per week to start, he said.

''It's not a niche publication, like a business journal or an entertainment paper,'' DeMarban told the Anchorage Daily News. ''It's broadly focused. We're going to have a variety of news for all ages and all types.''

DeMarban said ANI saw a need for more local news coverage, though the paper is not intended to compete head to head with the Daily News, the city's only daily.

''Down the road, if Anchorage wants another daily, we'll look at that,'' said Chronicle general manager Troy Spray.

Alaska Newspapers already had most of the equipment and staff -- about 75 people in all -- it needed to produce an Anchorage paper, DeMarban and Spray said. To launch the Chronicle, the company hired a general manager, two more reporters and two more advertising sales people, they said.

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