Don't Feed the Aliens
Huddled masses threatening our borders.
Allan Uthman
The Persecution Rests
Local Judge takes aim at fake religion.
Paul Jones
March Mayhem!
Clash of Civilizations bracketology.
Good News from Iraq!
Brought to you by the DoD.
Phillips: Head-Screw Driver
Fearmongering for fun & profit.
A. Monkey
Litterbox Lunacy
Do cats make the craziest people?
Kit Smith
Friends Confused by Man's Defense of Kevin Costner
Scott Borchert
Dammit, Gannett, We Hate You
Hoping Current was just the first domino.
Full Court Press
New Fed Courthous: A "quality of life crime."
Kino Korner
Ultraviolet, Failure to Launch, 16 Blocks, Hills Have Eyes, Block Party.
BEAST-O-Scopes
Your cosmic fortune in insult form.
The BEAST Page 3 Afghan Christian Convert
[sic] - Letters
Wal-Mart fans, loathsomeness and celebrity plagiarism.


Operation Told You So
No one could have anticipated the Iraq disaster, except the 40% who did
Allan Uthman
Iraq or Iran?
Which are these pundits pushing to invade?
NSA's Big Rig?
Did the NSA help Bush steal the vote?
Bob Fitrakis
TV Highlights
Ian Murphy discusses "America's Next Top Model" with his penis
Gorilla My Dreams
The Monkey Does Drag.
The Nobel Nazi?
Scientist's Legacy gets Freedom Fried.
Kit Smith
Authorities Relieved Church Fires Were Joke
Josh Righter
Get Off Ma Land!
A BEAST Reader Opinion
Best of Buffalo?
Former Staffer Exposes Artvoice Reader "Poll."
Ready, Set, Gentrify!
Elmwood Village Hotel: Good Neighbor?
Erin-Go-Blah
What Adams Could Have Told Higgins.
Album Cover Reviews
A Skin-Depth Look at 3 New Releases.
Chris Riordan
Kino Korner
Ultraviolet, Failure to Launch, 16 Blocks, Hills Have Eyes, Block Party.
BEAST-O-Scopes
Your cosmic fortune told through harsh insults.
The BEAST Page 3 Improvised Explosive Cola
[sic] - Letters
Thievery, hoser supremacy, drowning retards and bad songcraft.

  Dammit, Gannet, We Hate You
Hoping Current is just the first domino

“20- and 30- Somethings: …view advertising as content” – Gannett Publication’s online media kit for their Young Reader Publications.

Two weeks ago, Buffalo Current folded. It really was no big loss for Buffalo, but a significant one for its out of state investors. After blowing through nearly a million dollars in less than a year on a ridiculous Fuccillo-style ad blitz, Current surprised us by proving that sell-outs don’t always prosper.

In 2004, Gannett Publishing, apparently fed up with people actually learning about the world they live in by reading Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) syndicated papers and independents, set a new standard of banality by launching the Rochester Insider in Rochester, NY. The launch wasn’t easy. An unnamed dance club owner who used to have a close working relationship with Insider editor Mike Johannssen recalls once being approached to invest in ad space for the then-new paper, but later refused once he saw the paper as “Rochester’s cheerleader.”

The Insider started by hiring a natural at fluff pieces, former Night and Day editor Pam Cowan, who spent years giving blowjob reviews to everything that came to Buffalo. Finally they launched. The premiere issue decided to forgo the usual masthead in favor of a full page featuring the staff’s pictures and their dull answers to idiotic questions. Those who have suffered Current’s abuses will recognize the tactic.

Barred from reprinting popular AAN-syndicated content like “News of the Weird” and “Free Will Astrology,” the Insider resorts to reprinting headlines from tabloids such as the Enquirer and Weekly World News. The pictures of you, drunk at an event are in here en masse. The whole first 45% of the paper is dedicated to pictures of events. According to our calculations, everyone in Rochester will have had their picture in the Insider by 2014.

Flipping through the issue, one would find fun things to do in Rochester, as long as you were a wealthy, white, and really boring. Scrapbooking, kite-flying, making your own cocktails, going to parties to meet the staff, desperately trying to turn themselves into local celebrities by splashing their pictures on every page. Like Current, it looks like a retail catalog, but it’s far less useful.

The Insider’s 2-year ingratiation period has been nothing but a strain on local businesses. A bartender at the Bug Jar recalls a concert by well-known indie band Aloha last year where nearly every Insider staffer guestlisted themselves for the price of giving Aloha free publicity in their paper that most indie rock fans shun. Poor Aloha got the short end of that stick. A bartender at Jimmy Mac’s bar and grill in Rochester remembers Insider staffers asking his patrons if they prefer a beer funnel or a keg stand. He complained to us, “I run a bar that caters to people 21 and over. It really doesn’t help me that they’re asking questions suited to 18 and 19 year olds.”

The biggest complaint about corporate “hip” papers such as the Buffalo Current and the Rochester Insider is the lack of intelligent writing, and most of all the dumb, too-cute humor. It’s just not funny. Possibly prepubescent Insider reporter Tim Karan frequently shows off his 5th grade level wit with intentionally obscure references and self-referential humor such as his annoying High Falls Film Festival piece where he kept asking himself “But can I wear silly shorts?” Ha! Such juvenilia coupled with “news” reporting that concentrates on the fun downtown, while ignoring the real issues. Buffalo was even worse off, suffering the cringe-inducing Dave Barry wannabe Current had the gall to call the “Funny Guy” (for which we actually considered suing them on grounds of false advertising. Uthman was certain he could prove the Guy was not Funny in court).

The rapid financial implosion of Buffalo Current should be seen as a cautionary tale to corporate investors considering diverting a cool million into a sinking ship. Sadly, Gannett has identical papers in Lansing, Cincinnati, Louisville, Indianapolis, Wilmington, Nashville, Des Moines and Greenville, SC as part of their Young Reader Publications line. Trust us: we know how much young adults love to be pigeonholed by corporations. The only solution to contain this giant ball of crap from festering further is to do what we suggested late last year: wipe your ass with these worthless publications. ~BS

 

BEAST Blog

Idiot Box by Matt Bors
Big Fat Whale by Brian McFadden
Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch
Bob the Angry Flower by Stephen Notely
Deep Fried by Jason Yungbluth

e-mail the evil editors at sic@buffalobeast.com
John Stossel's Invisible Handjob
Stranger Danger: Ports Pandering
Piano-Gate: Tickling Ivories at Amy's?
10 Questions for Scott McClellan
Ask Dr. Cruise
Guide to Post-9/11 Opportunism
Ask a Horrible Human-Monkey Hybrid
GWB's Rapture Report
© Copyright 2002-2005, The Beast. All rights reserved.