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Requiem for a Flawed Planet
For months, Planet magazine employees labored under the shadow of a financial guillotine straining at the rope. So when money man (and Zia Record Exchange chain owner) Brad Singer came by the biweekly's Tempe offices last Wednesday afternoon with a stack of pizzas (mostly broccoli and tomato) and a fistful of pink slips, there was a sigh of relief swirled in with the letdown.

"Everyone was aware that we were losing money," says assistant editor Laura Bond, whose position was identified in the last Planet as "Soul Survivor." "So although it still came as a shock, it was not a surprise. Our 11th hour had ended. Our final chance was over. And, in a sense, it felt like a weight came off."

Planet editor in chief Troy Fuss was in Wyoming when the plug was pulled, picking up a truck he planned to drive back to Phoenix. Too bad. He missed a good wake. According to Bond, after Singer left, Planet's staffers smartly enacted the classic "Three Bs" response: beers, bongs and boohoos. When the fog cleared the next day, Planetoids began to consider how to redirect their lives. Bond says she's outta here.

"I don't want to live in a city that can't support a publication like Planet," she says. "We just had the Fiesta Bowl and Christmas, and the Super Bowl is coming up, and with all that money in circulation, we still went down, within a week of [alternative radio station] KUKQ going off the air.

"Phoenix likes to think of itself as so cosmopolitan, the city of the future, but really it doesn't have the cultural foundation to go beyond the superficial."

Not to quibble, Laura, but we'd heard Planet described similarly.

There Goes the Neighborhood
Justice took a holiday January 12 as Maricopa County's Superior Court judges stashed their robes and convened for a seminar designed to make them better judges.

The location?
The Phoenix Zoo.
Insert your own comment here:

They'll Never Learn, The Flash Has Learned
An internal newsletter from the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette spells out the proper way to say "the Republic has learned." To wit:

"For publication in The Republic, refer to 'documents obtained by The Arizona Republic,' or say, 'The Republic has learned.'

"For The Gazette, use 'documents obtained by The Phoenix Gazette and The Arizona Republic,' or say, 'The Phoenix Gazette and the Arizona Republic have learned.'"

This policy can't be good news to those hapless scribes who still toil exclusively for the Gazette. Can you say "ugly stepsister"?

Besides, management missed an opportunity to do something important: give instructions on writing complete sentences.

When a publication reports that it has "learned" something, it's claiming a scoop, an exclusive, a blockbuster. Most journalists consider "learned" information new and significant.

But when the Republic recently reported that it had "learned" something about Governor Fife Symington's finances in a page one banner story, somebody allowed an incomplete sentence to be published. (That somebody might have been an important editor, The Flash has divined.)

At any rate, the complete and accurate sentence for that particular story would have read: "... the Arizona Republic learned last year by reading New Times."

Feed The Flash: voice, 229-8486; fax, 340-8806; online, flash@newtimes.com


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