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Ahwatukee Foothills News Asking For Reader Bailout Despite Big Bonuses For Freedom Execs

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The Ahwatukee Foothills News is asking its readers to spare what they can to help keep the tiny paper afloat in the Internet age.

One problem -- its parent company, Freedom Communications, just pulled the plug on one of its other Valley newspapers after declaring bankruptcy but still had the gaul to hand out hefty bonuses to its top execs.

Our friends at Heat City alerted us to the fact that AFN ran a full page ad last week enlisting people to give donations to the struggling paper, just days after its sister paper, the East Valley Tribune, announced it will be closing its doors for good on December 31.

An Internet version of the ad can be seen here

"We too have done more with less!" AFN publisher Renie Scibona wrote in the letter to readers. "Your loyalty and voluntary contribution will help us continue to bring you one of Arizona's best community newspapers for years to come."

In the first eight months of 2009, as the company was sliding further and further into failure, Freedom dished out about $2.6 million in bonuses to top execs. Try hittin' some of them up for those "voluntary contributions."

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

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