It looks Creative Loafing opened up its books and made Brian Ries:
I wrote my first column for Creative Loafing a little over six years ago. I had asked a CL advertising rep if they needed a new restaurant critic and, fortuitously enough, they did. The paper was edited by the CL Tampa staff then and there was a sort of laissez-faire attitude about the baby brother down south. With no serious writing samples in hand, I went out to a restaurant and wrote a review in what I thought was the style of the paper. They printed it.
That led to innumerable dinners on the company dime, a bounty of love and hate mail, and well over 400 restaurant reviews over the past six years, for both CL Sarasota and our paper in Tampa. During that time, CL’s commitment to its smallest paper grew, starting with the hiring of the paper’s first local editor in 2007. That allowed us to concentrate more on local content, as well as tailor that content to the needs and wants of our unique audience.
Cooper Levey-Baker, our most recent editor, did a great job of focusing the content on issues that are important to our community, as well as reminding us that we can still write serious stories in an age of status updates and link journalism. He recently left CL for bigger and better things as editor of floridaindependent.com, a state-wide news and politics website.
CL hired me to replace him.