Seems like so many of our favorite things have gone away lately. The McRib Sandwich. The boardwalk in Seaside Park, NJ. Your “if you like it you can keep it… period” health insurance plan. And now, The New Haven Advocate and the Fairfield County Weekly. Today’s issues are the last issues ever of these two alt-weekly newspapers.
These papers as they have existed lately are just a shadow of their former selves. Their parent company – The Tribune Company – really gutted them of their former glory. The folks up at The Hartford Courant (the publishers that oversaw these papers) seemed to have no idea that these papers had a heritage, a style, a brashness and a vibe all their own. John Adamian, the group managing edit said in a piece in today’s Weekly that the papers will be replaced by a new publication called CTNow which will be “…the place you can go to catch what restaurants to check out, what art openings to get to, and which theater events not to miss.” That’s great, but what about the other roles that a responsible alternative newspaper should fill? The Advocate was a snarky, irreverent, and sometimes disrespectful newspaper that did stories on corrupt politicians (no lack of ’em here,) the dirty underbelly of life in Connecticut, and “newsy” stuff that the traditional daily newspapers would’t go near. But I guess that The Courant is happy to relinquish their “alternative” badge, settling instead to be a happy news/restaurant/music/arts paper.
I’ll miss these papers, especially the New Haven Advocate. I built a business by advertising in that paper in the 80’s, and more recently, promoted many of our client’s businesses in the paper. Their “special sections” used to be a thing of beauty. The quarterly editions called Springtimes, Summertimes, etc. were not to be missed by advertisers and readers alike. But that has changed over the years. The Advocate and Weekly lost their souls. Now I have lost two good friends.