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March 24, 2009 - Image 1

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-24

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~be 1id Igan hI4

INEEEN YEARS OF ED
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

.hE

Ann Arbor, Michigan

michigandaily.com

PRINT INDUSTRY WOES HIT HOME
A2 News to
close after
174 years
Newspaper will
move online in July

Museum of Art Director James
Steward's 'town hall for the
arts' opens to students tonight.

By BEN VANWAGONER
Daily Fine Arts Editor
After two-and-a-half years and
$41.9 million worth of renovation
and expansion, University stu-
dents will finally get a glimpse of
the University of Michigan Muse-
um of Art's long-awaited make-
over tonight.
The length of construction
means that for many students on
campus, this evening's preview
will be their first chance to expe-
rience the museum, which houses
more than 18,000 works of art and
is now more than double its previ-
ous size.
During a walkthrough of
the museum yesterday, UMMA
Director.James Steward's rueful
grimace made it clear that he real-
ized this all too well.
"How many of you were in the
museum before (the expansion)?"
he asked Daily staff on a tour yes-
terday. "Probably not many."
The Museum's doors will be
open tonight from 8 p.m. until
midnight. Planned exclusively
with students in mind, the pre-
view features two DJs and Ann
Arbor band The Great Divide, who
will perform amid the oil paint-
ings and sculpture of the Europe-
an and American art gallery.
Most events will be occurring
in the Apse - a wide-open, col-
umned space in the middle of the
old wing - butevery gallery in the
newly expanded museum is open
for exploration.

UMMA PREVIEW
WHAT: A free preview of the Art
Museum open to all University of,
Michigan students.
WHEN: Tonight from 8 p.m. until
midnight.
WHY: Live entertainment, free
food and a chance to explore the
building before it opens.
Steward emphasized that con-
necting with students is one of the.
Museum's major goals, and many
of the features of the new section
- officially the Frankel Wing -
are designed to enable that.
The purpose of the expansion
is to create what Steward calls a
. "town hall for the arts" by bring-
ing students, faculty and com-
munity into direct, unmediated
contact with art and with each
other.
"We want it to be like the Diag,"
Steward said.
He places the Museum among
older traditions of collaboration
and exchange with suitably high
hopes.
"Think of the marketplace in
Athens," Steward said. "It wasn't
just a marketplace - it was also
whereSocratic dialoguetook place,
where ideas were exchanged."
The space in the old wing has
been vastly modified to bring visi-
tors closer to the art. Whole ceilings
have been redone, and new skylights
See UMMA, Page 7

- I
CHANELV00N H'ABSOURG-LOTHRiNGEN/DaO ~
TOP An installatiun piece using litht bulbs sits on a wall in the top huorstf the
museum's "Vertical Gallery." BOTTOM Museum at Att Director James Steward
stands in the museum's old wise. Thn ceilint in this recently renoaed part ot the
museum was made In allom natral light inside.
MUSEUM MULTIMEDIA
HeartDirerlorlJames Stewatd discuss hisnvisionlforthe museam and his plans
to connect Sm ith students' lines, as he goides wrilers from The Michigan
Oaily through an exdlusise tour oflthe museum. Gob o michigandailycom

By LINDY STEVENS
Daily News Editor
In an announcement made at a
staff meeting yesterday morning,
Laurel Champion, publisher of The
Ann Arbor News, told employees
that the newspaper plans to close its
doors and stop publishing in July.
In an interview yesterday, Cham-
pion said she and a few key execu-
tives learned of the newspaper's
decision to close about one month
ago, but that most Ann Arbor News
employees heard the announce-
ment for the first time yesterday.
Champion said a marked decline
in advertising revenue - with Jan-
pary advertising sales figures down
20 percent from last year - largely
contributed to the newspaper's

financial challenges.
"We had very serious losses last
year and those losses declined even
more in the past months," she said.
The Ann Arbor News - owned
by parent company Booth Newspa-
pers - will be replaced by AnnAr-
bor.com, a website that will publish
local news online.
The News will continue to pub-
lish its daily content on Mlive.com
in the interim.
AnnArbor.com, owned by Web-
based media company AnnArbor.
com LLC, is expected to begin
operations later this year and has
plans to circulate a print edition on
Sundays and Thursdays.
Champion, who will be executive
vice president of the new company,
See NEWSPAPER, Page 7

The hole in Ann
Arbor's local news

By MATT AARONSON
Daily StaffReporter
Yesterday's announcement of
the end of The Ann Arbor News is
yet another dark cloud in the ever-
worsening landscape of print jour-
nalism in this country.
All across the country, news-
papers are switching to an online
format, cutting down on staff and
content, filing for bankruptcy and
even going under. Though 15,704
people lost a job at a newspaper in
2008, and over 6,000 have already
lost their jobs this year, accord-'
ing to Paper Cuts, a website that
tracks layoffs, buyouts and news
in the U.S. newspaper industry,
some local experts have begun to

speculate that the Ann Arbor's
tech-savvy community could make
for a smooth transition to a strictly
online news outlet.
"Many people think that we're
experiencing a slow but quicken-
ing death spiral of the newspaper
industry," said Michael Traugott,
chair of the University's Commu-
nications Department, in an inter-
view yesterday.
"So who is going to keep an eye
from a news perspective on devel-
opers, the University of Michigan,
certain kinds of businesses as well
as the political machinery in local
government?" he said.
Dave Askins,-editor of The Ann
Arbor Chronicle, a local, online news
See JOURNALISM, Page 7

THE DIGITAL PRESS
SU' will merge publishing
operations with the library

0 Combined effort
will update the way
the University Press
prints its books
By KYLE SWANSON
Daily StaffReporter
University officials announced
plans on Friday to merge the Uni-
versity of Michigan Press with the
University Library in an effort to
reinforce the University's mission
of efficiently publishing scholarly
texts while transitioning into the
digital age.
The announcement came
* approximately one month after
the Association of American Uni-
versities and the Association of
Research Libraries issued a call to
action urging universities to take a
more active role in producing and

sharing academic works through
digital technologies.
Under the new plan, Dean of
Libraries Paul Courant will over-
see the University of Michigan
Press.
Philip Pochoda, director of the
University of Michigan Press, said
the library is a natural partner for
the University Press and that the
change will place the publishing
house at the center of the Univer-
sity's digitization efforts.
The move will signal a major
change for the University of Mich-
igan Press, Pochoda said. The Uni-
versity of Michigan Press will now
digitize scholarly books and only
print them once an order has been
placed.
The conventional method of a
publishing house involves print-
ing a certain number of copies of
a book and storing the copies in a
warehouse until orders are placed,
Pochoda said. The University of

Michigan Press's new model will,
therefore, avoid printing more
copies than necessary and reduce
physical storage costs.
Pochodasaiddespitethis, some
areas of the University of Michi-
gan Press will not be affected.
He said books published for the
general reader, including books
on the Great Lakes and issues
of public concern like personal
health or poverty will continue
to be published under the cur-
rent model.
Pochoda said the reorganization
will better align the University of
Michigan Press with the'goals of
the University asa whole.
"(It will) allow us to connect
to the central mission of the Uni-
versity," he said. "(The move)
puts us into being a part of the
academic mission of the Univer-
sity."
The move, Pochoda said, will
See PUBLISHING, Page 7

Local residents voice complaints
over downtown rezoning plans
A2D2 aims to bring
more residential
areas into city's reach
By LARA ZADE
Daily StaffReporter
At last night's Ann Arbor Dis-
covering Downtown (A2D2) public
comment session, City Council gave
the public a chance to voice their
opinions about proposed changes to
simplify current zoning ordinances
to help foster increased population
density in downtown Ann Arbor.
A2D2, which was established in
Sept. 2006, would condense about
12 current downtown zoning areas cHRIS DZOMBAK/Daily
into two, known as Dl and D2. Ann Arbor's plans to rezone its downtown area could reshape where residents live.
Dl is designated as the dens- Property included in the D1 zon- to increase the floor area ratio.
er zoning designation, covering ing districts would be about twice Both zoning districts have a
most of the downtown area, while as large in floor area ratios as those minimum height of two stories. D2
D2 applies to the transition area designated in D2 districts. Proper- designated properties would have
between the downtown core and ties that include beneficial features a maximum height of four to six
surrounding residential neighbor- like public parking or affordable stories.
hoods. public housing would be permitted See DOWNTOWN, Page 7

WEATHER HI: 54
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