By Steven Robert Allen
Years ago, on the first day of April, my predecessor, Michael Henningsen, sent around an e-mail informing us that the Alibi had just purchased Crosswinds. Being the most gullible person east of the International Date Line, I swallowed the whole story without even chewing. Like a complete idiot, I ran around the office quizzing people about the purchase. I distinctly recall Chris Johnson, one of the Alibi's owners, laughing in my face.
Oh, the shame! This time around, thankfully, I'm pretty sure I'm not the victim of some humiliating prank. Last week, a rumor began to fly around town that our fellow weekly was going out of business. A couple phone calls—to the paper's offices and printer—confirmed the story.
Crosswinds was founded in 1988 as a monthly. In 1995, it was purchased by veteran East Coast journalist Steve Lawrence. In 1998, the paper began printing as a weekly. The left-of-center publication covered local and national news as well as arts and culture. It also presented a range of local columns on everything from politics to cuisine.
"There just wasn't enough support from the business community," says Lawrence, "although we had plenty of support from readers. We've been doing this for 11 years. I've never done anything that long. We had a very good run, but it was time."
You might think that we at the Alibi would be happy about Crosswinds' demise. You would be wrong. We never considered the paper to be our competition, largely because our two papers seemed to serve very different readerships. For one thing, Crosswinds was a somewhat staid, family-friendly publication. The Alibi, well, isn't.
I picked Crosswinds up and read it almost every week, though, largely because I like to keep up on doings in the local media. Sometimes, I was enlightened. Sometimes, I was entertained. Sometimes, quite frankly, I was bored. I've felt the same way reading the Alibi over the years.
Regardless of my reaction to the contents of each week's issue, I was always happy that Albuquerque had another independently owned free alternative weekly. I'm sincerely sad to see Crosswinds go. They did a decent job, and they really did have a fine run.
See ya later, CW. Maybe we'll meet again someday at that great printing press in the sky.
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