Dateline: Fri 24 Jun 2011

says goodbye and rest in peace to The Indianapolis Star's Metromix, also known (in earlier days) as and INtake.

No gloating from NUVO, Indy's alternative voice; quite the opposite. Its June 22-29 cover is devoted to the death (a homicide, really), with a fitting cover showing a tombstone, bearing the R.I.P. message with the three above names (Metromix, aka INtake and Inside, on Pages 10 and 11, NUVO first pimps the Star's youth-driven product(s) with a mock-up of the Gannett model, which every week posed a breathless and usually irrelevant question answered by each staff member. For NUVO, "the burning question" is "How will you fill the void in a world without Metromix?" All the NUVO folk have their say, and it's appropriately silly.

Better is the sober analysis, written by NUVO editors, which quotes Indianapolis Business Journal: "Metromix and NUVO have been a contrast in styles.

"Metromix often contains shorter articles with lots of pictures...NUVO typically has longer, more-indepth stories on weighter topics such as politics and urban decay."

Also, NUVO's editors acknowledge: "To be honest, INtake, and Metromix made us better...the challenge of competition ...made us fight ...hard to hold our own against the publishing industry's Wal-Mart equivalent.

"It is in that spirit that we empathize with our friends, neighbors, fellow journalists and newspaper staff members who are losing their jobs as a result of this latest round of Gannett changes."


I have to say a few words on behalf of INtake, because I was at the Star when the scrappy weekly was begun with so much young energy, Peter Pan enthusiasm -- I won't grow up! -- and tons of talent. The extremely capable Braden Nicholson ran the show (he's a long gone daddy from Gannett) and every person who worked with him, to my knowlege, worked their asses off, as did he.

In those heady early days, some of "the kids," or "the kindergarten," as some older staff called them, occasionally slept or took naps on the floor of their cramped back-of-the-bus space in the newsroom, hauling sleeping bags with them to work, so intense was their determination to launch INtake with style and vigor and keep the pressure on. I can't remember all your names, but I liked what you guys did...and besides Braden, and many others (James Burnes comes to mind), I also recall the dazzling talent of Michelle Pemberton, who took pix for INtake et al and did other stuff. She remains at the Star, and whatever she does, it will be stylish, fun and provocative.

NUVO is not just kind to give credit to the impact; it's an accurate, fair assessment. But then, after INtake, came and Metromix and those horrible, horrible party pix and other frivolous junk/nonsense....not the fault of staff, but part of Gannett's vision, and we all know how little Gannett knows about features or news or successful publishing. Well, if creativity is "creating something where nothing was," then INtake was very fine at its inception. That's something.

So, R.I.P.....indeed.

And to NUVO, blue skies ahead -- proceed at full throttle.


CORRECTION: Kevin Poortinga was the first big boss for INTake. Thanks to Deb Strzeszkowski, who formerly worked at the Star as a features art director and editorial creative manager, for reminding me that it was Kevin who oversaw the initial operation. As I recollect, he moved from the copy desk to this new, challenging role, and he was a huge success.

But here is where my memory is fuzzy. I absolutely recall Kevin being in charge of INtake when it moved out of the newsroom to its separate office/digs, but I can't recall seeing him during the time the operation was actually behind features.....probably because he was buried in work. Ane honestly, I wish I could recall the names of every member of that first INtake staff, because my impression was that this was a very smart bunch of kiddies.

Please read Deb's comments for more info.





Seneca [Member] said:

According to Nuvo, the Star is "the publishing industry’s Wal-Mart equivalent."

Not up to Wal-Mart's "standards," actually.

The link:

2011-06-25 06:24:02

ruthholl [Member] said:

Thank you for getting the right link. I don't know why, but it eluded me...
Yeah, talk about an insult to Wal-Mart.

2011-06-25 07:29:03

ComputerWheels [Member] said:

It was actually funny when publisher Barb encouraged those pictures of women in skimpy costumes that first Halloween!

2011-06-25 11:02:32

ComputerWheels [Member] said:

Meant to add the pictures were online, and they got a TON of hits! My mouth hit the floor when she praised them instead of being angry as publishers would in the past.

2011-06-25 11:07:35

Deb Strzeszkowski [unverified] said:

You are wrong. Braden worked on Intake, but it was Kevin Poortinga, still with Gannett, who had the vision and ran it from start-up. Braden became editor when Kevin moved on to other projects. They are both very talented.

2011-06-25 13:04:46

ruthholl [Member] said:

Deb, I should have mentioned Kevin. I knew he was the top boss, but my impression was that Braden was more hands on. Kevin so quickly moved up the ranks of Gannett; I didn't realize he was that involved, altho I know (now that you shake my memory) he moved from copy editor right into that job -- right?
Thank you for correcting my error.
So help me out: Kevin was the boss when the operation was in the newsroom, back behind features, right? That was the startup. I recall Kevin being there and interviewing a friend of mine when INtake got its bigger, more elegant space in what was an old mail room or something for printing...
I just remember that sleeping blanket on the floor, and Casey,a copy editor, working so hard....
But Kevin never had his pix in INtake as one of the guys answering questions..or did he? Help!

2011-06-25 13:24:21

ruthholl [Member] said:

ComputerWheels, thanks for sharing that memory. Priceless. Snort, snort.

2011-06-25 13:44:43

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Does this mean that those demeaning, pervert-attracting photos of drunk young party gals (displaying portions of their melons for for all to see) won't be on The Star's website? Be nice to see the end of that. I can't help but wonder how Indianapolis' young women who are M.D.s and Ph.D.s have reacted to those demeaning photos.

I'd like to see Nuvo doing more truly alternative, hard-hitting journalism from a populist perspective, but maybe the economics of the situation doesn't allow for much of it. Easy to be an Armchair Quarterback, I guess.

I surely miss Harrison's biting commentaries and often think about what he would be saying now about the "worst state Legislature in the country."

2011-06-25 14:26:56

indykjsharp [unverified] said:

WB, did you see the op-ed in today's paper about the Wal-Mart lawsuit? To your point, one of its female managers was made to attend meetings at Hooters. Makes my skin crawl.

If NUVO is going to fill a void and be taken seriously I believe it will have to do two things: 1. phase out the sex ads and 2. stop using profanity and objectionable language.

If it did that, I think more people would appreciate the things it does well, like reporting the news.

2011-06-25 15:36:50

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

"If NUVO is going to fill a void and be taken seriously I believe it will have to do two things: 1. phase out the sex ads and 2. stop using profanity and objectionable language."
indykjsharp. You must be my twin separated at birth. That is, if you an old worn-out former hippie with a white beard and a pot belly who wears blue jeans and polo shirts to weddings and funerals (smile).

But seriously, I couldn't agree with you more. I feel like I need to go wash my hands after I leaf through Nuvo. And, if I was Catholic (I'm not) schedule a confessional session with a priest.

My question about this: do the sex ads and profanity draw in more readership or is it just the opposite -do they turn off big bunches of potential readers?

2011-06-25 16:01:51

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The sex ads are tacky. And I'm all for a civilized discourse, sans profanity.

But it is raw. Solid writing, too. And this may be just me, but I rarely see the editing gaffes that plague The Star.

It's a weekly tabloid. They've got some wiggle-room on style.

News of the WIERD--so perfectly silly.

May their tribe multiply. And may the escort ads go south. Everyone needs love, but we don't really like to think about the giddy underbelly of paying for it.

2011-06-25 18:08:02

John Doe [unverified] said:

The ads in Nuvo actually give me caution. I really question the "Asian" massage ads. The sex slave/human trafficking problem is real, and we have enough proof that some of these businesses are nothing more than prostitution fronts. For a newspaper that advocates social justice, I have to wonder just how just it is to:

#1: Advertise for businesses where the employees are known to get paid in cash, thus not paying their "fair share" like good socialists should.

#2; Take money from companies which might be involved in sex slavery. Does Nuvo vet these companies at all?

2011-06-25 18:55:59

hendy [Member] said:

Ohhh. Waltzing with the high and mighty, eh? Must be white slavery going on, or Asian slavery, or whatever the hell that is! Horrible!

The sex trade was going on before you and it will go on after you. Ignore it. Ignore ads for Marlboros. Also those Keystone Beer ads. Sure, they attract some people. Some people will buy about anything.

In the case of sex, more power to them. Use condoms. Have a nice day. Nuvo makes a few bucks from them, or they'd be gone. Just how much margin do you think they have, anyway?

So all y'all high and mighties can thank heavens you have your needs satisfied in other ways, and aspire to it. Others do not. Is it tawdry? Yeah. White slavery-- maybe, but unlikely. Bad people in that business? Yup. How about politics? Nobody bad in there, right? And you can be guaranteed that those evangelists are true to the Bible, too.

C'mon. Grow up.

2011-06-25 22:06:49

Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

User was banned for obnoxious trolling and the comment was removed. --Admin

2011-06-25 22:46:49

Matt Stone [unverified] said:

I was in high school working for an online music zine, Indianapolis Music Net ( when InTake initially launched. IMN kind of had a friendly rivalry with Nuvo, but we never had a publishing relationship with them (though some of our writers and photogs did freelance stuff for them as well).

InTake, to their credit, was the only print publication to take IMN seriously as the go-to place for local music coverage. Every week, they'd publish our Top 10 List, listing what IMN staff thought would be the top 10 concerts for the week. And they published it with some pretty nice art, gave us full credit, and it was a two page spread.

Don't know how long ago that stopped, but it ran for quite a while. And I know the good folks at IMN appreciated the effort.

That being said, I don't remember ever reading anything that resembled hard hitting journalism, even in it's earliest days. Most of the time, it was a teaser portionof an article form the Star, or something boiled down from an AP wire. Might have a human interest/feature story every now and then, but that's about it.

Nuvo is better, but considering it's competition, that's not saying much.

2011-06-25 23:20:35

Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

User was banned for obnoxious trolling and the comment was removed. --Admin

2011-06-26 02:01:37

Jason [unverified] said:

Not to, uh, poke the bear, but... I think you have a stalker Hendy.

2011-06-26 03:08:20

hendy [Member] said:

Yeah, Jason. Knilands is an online egger. You can google him to find out his sad story. He's best and easily ignored. His usual MO is to try to "out" posters to forums by cajoling them into revealing their "real names". It's his smarter-than-thou, put-down artistry that's the tip-off to his disease. Does he get therapy? Nah. Narcissists usually believe they're right, and the rest of the world is of course, insane.

But I'm not a psychologist, and he might be perfectly sane, just bored on the webtoobies and needs someone to harass as pitiful boredom has overtaken him. He's been here before. He'll squat here again, I'm guessing.

2011-06-26 08:42:37

Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

User was banned for obnoxious trolling and the comment was removed. --Admin

2011-06-26 11:33:03

Sick to Death of Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

Somebody please tell it to go away!

2011-06-26 11:43:34

Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

User was banned for obnoxious trolling and the comment was removed. --Admin

2011-06-26 13:38:48

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