CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{December 20, 2006}   Is Cin Weekly An Alternative Newspaper?

cin.jpgI hate giving the Cincinnati Enquirer any kind of business, because it’s a god-awful newspaper and because it’s owned by Gannett, but I found it necessary late last week to place a classified ad with them.

The lady I talked to was very professional and she informed me that my Sunday ad in the Enquirer would also run in Wednesday’s Cin Weekly. I decided to play stupid.

“What’s a Cin Weekly?” I asked.

“It’s Cincinnati’s premier alternative newsweekly,” the nice lady answered.

Cin Weekly is an alternative newspaper?” I asked, pressing on.

“Yes,” the lady said. “Your ad will also run in that publication free of charge.”

“Does it have to run there too?”

I got dead silence from the lady and decided to fess up a little.

“Actually, I know of Cin Weekly,” I said. “It’s sort of a sound-bite piece of fluff. There’s nothing to read in it.”

More silence from the lady.

“I mean CityBeat is really the alternative newspaper in Cincinnati don’t you think?” I asked.

“Well, any newspaper that comes out once a week is considered alternative,” she said clearing her throat.


“Yes Sir.”

“And you really think this Cin Weekly is the premier alternative in Cincinnati?”

“Will that be all sir?” she said, sounding a little testy.

“Yes, that’s it,” I said, “but I would suggest you pick up a copy of CityBeat and educate yourself on what the word alternative means when it comes to newspapers.”

“Have a good day, sir.”

And with that said, the highly professional Cincinnati Enquirer – Cin Weekly – Gannett employee hung up the phone.

Larry Gross


Ted says:

Cin Weekly alternative? Hardly. I don’t know what it is.

Polly says:

Good morning.

I pick up this Cin Weekly when I’m taking the bus back home and can’t find a City Beat, because their rack is empty. No, nothing to really read in it. I think it’s just an extension of the Enquirer, sort of boring.

Barbara says:

I wouldn’t call it an alternative paper by any means but it’s light reading and not bad. Sometimes its easier to find than City Beat.

hard as nails says:

i read citybeat every week and keep a lot of the older issues i like. i keep a few cin papers around too in case i run out of toilet paper.

Sandy says:

I read both CityBeat and Cin Weekly each week. Each is very different from the other, but what’s wrong with that?

Lynn says:

Maybe this post was written as a put down of Cin Weekly but I’m not going to be part of that crowd.

I think Citybeat is the better paper, no doubt about it, but I haven’t read it for a couple years now. Once upon a time, I would send letters or e-mails to the writers stating an opinion on a story or saying how much I enjoyed it. Sometimes I would call the editor with a story idea. Never once did I ever get an answer to an e-mail or a return phone call. It was like no one was interested in what I had to say.

When I send Cin an e-mail, I always get a reply even if its just one line saying thanks for reading. You know what? I appreciate that. I think they care about who reads them and that goes along ways with me.

It seems to me that Cin wants to connect with who reads their paper. CityBeat is more interested in throwing parties (which I never go to) than going one on one with an actual reader. That leaves me feeling a little cold.

Matt says:

Sometimes I have my issues with CityBeat but its a hell of better paper than Cin. Most of the time Cin really sucks.

Biscuit says:

You have to admire that fact that the woman remained polite and professional.

I was in Kellers IGA and a customer was being incredibly rude to the checkout women. He was giving her all kinds of shit about a Keller policy because he could- she had to take it, if she suggested he take his condecending attitude and shove it up his ass she would have been fired.

The woman at Cin Weekly has a crap job selling a useless ads in a shit paper for little pay- cut her some slack.

gerard says:

CinWeekly vs. Citybeat?

You shouldn’t even compare them (though I will). CinWeekly is a corporate-run, by-the-books, well-backed, well-financed publication printed on quality paper with quality colors using a formulaic layout and formulaic success. It is entertaining and fun to read.

But damn if I learn anything from it.

Citybeat, with its ragtag bunch of employees, washed-out colors, and thin newspaper stock, has, and always will, written the better news, current events, and social commentary stories way better than Cin.

Lynn, of course, you will receive a response from Cin because it’s in the corporate handbook. Though both weeklies (Cin is not alternative) should be able to co-exist, when a business looks to place an ad and can only afford one, and decides to place it in Cin because it’s more colorful, Citybeat loses out. I wonder long that can sustain. Keep up the good work, Citybeat.

Marilyn says:

Somebody brought me a Cin Weekly once when I was recovering from a surgery. They knew I liked CityBeat and accidentally picked up the wrong paper. I still haven’t read it.

Thanks for the laffs, gerard, I’ve met a couple of the CB staffers and boy are they raggedy taggedy!

Jeff says:

Cin alternative?

I remember a couple thanksgivings ago, they did a cover story on how to prepare your first turkey.


Alternative? Maybe, but a stupid alternative.

Lynn says:

I sort of get Gerard’s point, but I have to say if being “corporate” means getting a response to a e-mail sent, then I’ll take that. If being “alternative” means paying no attention to them, then that’s rude.

John says:

Look at the photo that was used for this post – Let it snow.

Yes, stupid alternative. CityBeat is the real deal.

Paul says:

Shit, the first ever Cin was a rip off of a cover Citybeat did years ago. Remember that’s sooooooo Cincinnati?

Cin is a joke. If there wasn’t big money behind it, it would have died a fast death.

Ugghh says:

Both publications have their merits, I read both – but Cin Weekly withholds partisan politics, a lesson City Beat could learn from! I choose Cin Weekly!

Matt says:

but Cin Weekly withholds partisan politics

……….and that’s why it isn’t an alternative. It has no attitude!

RHines says:

“It has no attitude”

It has no soul, either

Bitch from Price Hill says:

Hell yes, Citybeat is the better paper but man it’s hard to find in Price Hill. Shitrag Cin is everywhere. Can’t Citybeat do something about better circulation out here?

Mandy says:

“It has no attitude”

It has no soul, either

but it does have money, the root of all evil.

Betsy says:

What in the world is wrong with having a mainstream weekly paper? CityBeat doesn’t have a market on that.

Elly says:

I just want to say it’s great to find CityBeat so early in the morning now on Wednesdays downtown. I can drink my coffee and get my fix early!

Gregory Flannery says:

When Cin Weekly started publishing, I hoped it would be a strong paper and would offer CityBeat serious editorial competition. My chief frustration at CityBeat is knowing how many stories we don’t have room to tell. Even with two daily newspapers, four local TV news shows, multiple radio stations, a local monthly magazine and more than a few weekly newspapers, many important stories in Cincinnati go untold. The public always benefits from more sources of news. But in that regard, Cin Weekly has so far been an opportunity wasted.

Ruth says:

I think we only have two really alternative voices in town – CityBeat and the Cincinnati Nation. For anyone at the Enquirer to say they are the premier alternative in the city is truly laugh out loud funny. What’s sad is that some will believe it.

Eddie says:

I don’t like ANY of the newspapers here. I moved here from New York where you have The New York Times and The Village Voice. To my way of thinking, the main daily paper and the free alternative are both pretty weak.

Claire says:

I also have to place ads with the Enquire (for me, every week) and they always call Cin the “premier alternative.” I just let it roll off but next time I don’t think I will.

David says:

I don’t remember where I read this, but this Cin rag isn’t the only fake alternative that Gannett publishes. If I remember right, they are going into cities where successful alternatives are doing well and introduce their own version of an alternative. They want that advertising money that the alternatives get.

With Gannett, its all about the money – fuck the content. Yeah, They really have no soul at all.

With Both Barrels says:

I see someone by the name of “RHines” made a comment here today. It wouldn’t surprise me if its Richard Hines, the guy who runs CincyNation. I think he and Larry are twins or something. They both bring out the negative of what’s wrong in Cincinnati. They both keep pressing and pressing until you want to strangle them.

As for this bit on Cin, who gives a rats ass. Read it or don’t read it. It’s not really a bad paper for what it is and it appears to be doing well, the paper is nice and fat each week. The page count over at CityBeat seems to get thinner each week.

Figure it out.

Will says:

Figure it out.

CityBeat flys off the racks. Toward the end of any given week, you can hardly find it.

Cin Weekly sits on the rack. Out of town until the end of the week? No problem. A stale old Cin will still be there.

W.B.B, figure that one out.

caroline says:

not to change the subject, but does anyone know if “the downtowner” is still around? I use to work over on Court Street and would pick it up sometimes. Isn’t that considered alternative?

Matt says:


Yep, the Downtowner is still around. I see it, but I never pick it up. Nothing to read in that either.

Who Cares? says:

Not me!

Fred says:

I visit here sometimes to see what the “left” is up to. Don’t you think you people need to face some facts?

Cincinnati is a conservative city and has been for many, many years. Do you really think Citybeat and his more than silly left wing blog is going to change that? No, of course not. Most of us like Cincinnati just the way it is.

My suggestion to Gross and those like him is to move. Go to Boston, L.A., New York, anywhere where you feel more comfortable. Gross and those like him get on my nerves.

Julie says:

If you’re a progressive thinker, you pick up CityBeat. If you’re a typical conservative from Cincinnati, you’re going to put up Cin. Cin has nothing to offer people who think, who want change. As Gross says in his piece, it’s a piece of fluff and fluff here means more restaurant and business closings downtown and a place where young professionals won’t want to stay. Changing and growing is a good thing, Cincinnati. Even conservatives in other cities know that, but not here.

Rita says:

Well – Obviously Cin is not as well done as City Beat but occasionally they have some great ideas for alcoholic beverages. Thanks to Cin, I can now make a mean margarita. No longer am I restricted to straight shots of tequila. I am now diversified. Although some may think it would have been better not to develop that skill. Oops – I must go – I hear a blender in the distance.

hard as nails says:

fred, you’re an asshole. if people don’t think like you, they should move? tell me something —jackass— do you live on the west side? give me your “just off Queen City Avenue” address and I’ll come over and we’ll have a nice chat.

Karen @ the hood says:


You’re funny!!

Mike says:

I also have to deal with The Enquirer advertising department and yes, they promote Cin as the premier alternative newspaper in Cincinnati. I just listen to this shit and roll my eyes.

Jeff- or-ly says:

CIN SUCKS!!!!!!!!!! and so do the Bengals. Maybe Sunday that will change.

Patsy says:

Cin: White, upper class “fake” paper much?

It sucks.

Rita says:

And people call me negative. I am trying to develop a different perspective on life. I call it the “death bed” moment technique. On my death bed when I see that bright, bright light (not the dim one), will my final thought be “Was Cin really an alternative newspaper in Cincinnat?”
I don’t think so. Although I may still remember the goof who cut in front of me in traffic today.

Piedmont says:

Somebody on here is blaming this blog and Cincynation for being too negative. I think both present real issues and real problems in the city, so often overlooked by the corporate media.

If the implication was that they are hurting the city, have you taken a look at the local TV news? “THERE’S CRIME, THERE’S TERROR, GUARD YOUR CHILDREN, STAY IN THE SUBURBS, CINCINNATI IS HELL ON EARTH, RUN FROM DOWNTOWN AS FAR AS YOU CAN”

Erin says:


Tell us more.

Johnny says:

Cin is trash – even their blogs. I think they have like six and no ones reads them, like no comments.

David says:

Wow, it’s really remarkable how stupid people have been all these years about this CityBeat vs. CiN rivalry. What’s most funny is all the bitching, moaning and complaining Larry has done on this front. Well, it’s almost 3 years later, CiN is no more due to budget cuts at Gannett and isn’t it a kick that CityBeat now looks like the type of paper CiN once was, an entertainment weekly devoid of any social commentary or news. Not nearly as pretty or well designed, but pretty much the same content. Full disclosure here, i was CiN’s photographer for 4 years. Larry, if you’re still out there, let me be clear; No one, and i mean no one at CiN, not the editors, not the writers, not even the top dogs on the enquirer ever, EVER, thought that CiN was an “alternative weekly”. I don’t know who the poor, misguided woman you spoke to was, but obviously she was well out of the loop. CiN was an arts, entertainment and lifestyle weekly, and a pretty damn good one for a while, until the ever constant budget cuts slowly drained all the life out of it. The publication was FUN, not important (or all self-important like you make CityBeat out to be). And let me tell, no one at CiN, not the editors, not the writers, not me, ever, EVER wanted to put CityBeat out of business. That’s your parnoid delusion and you are welcome to it, but we were all fans of CityBeat and read it weekly. CiN was created to serve a different purpose though. No breaking news stories, no investigative journalism, no partisan politics. That’s for an “alternative weekly” like CityBeat (too bad you don’t do that stuff anymore, eh?). CiN was where to eat, what to see, what’s the latest fashion. and yes, how to mix a margarita. You know, comments about us being fluff are pretty meaningless to me. Of course most of it was fluff, and you know it was fun. And i am very proud of the work i did there for 4 years. Every now and then i even got to do a cover story that wasn’t fluff. But most of it was just fun. I am so sorry that you are incapable of having fun. I am so sorry that you are so paranoid that you can’t believe that 2 weeklies that really serve completely different purposes can survive in a city the size of Cincinnati. I am so sorry that you are so unsure of yourselves that you think you can’t stand a little bit of competition for advertiser. Well Larry, you guys won the great battle. CiN is gone and CityBeat remains, for what it’s worth. These days i don’t read it much though. You’ve fired some of your best writers, removed some of your best features and now you get to compete with Metromix in your weak coverage of movies and music. Even Street Vibes is ragging you, probably because it’s were all your good staff is now working. But i do still pick CityBeat up. It makes wonder filler in my composter.

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