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Metroland 30th Anniversary Issue

In 1978, Peter Iselin published the first copy of Metroland, then a magazine highlighting the local disco and bar scene, which he would continue to publish monthly for a year or so. In 1979 he began publishing it weekly, hence our choice of the year 2009 to celebrate 30 years of publishing Metroland in a weekly format.

The publication has gone through a number of changes since 1979. In 1986, it went from being an entertainment weekly to an alternative newsweekly in the mold of its brethren in cities around the country. In 1995 there was an ownership change, from Peter Iselin’s Metroland Magazine Inc. to Lou Communications Inc., a small group led by then-managing editor Stephen Leon. Lou Communications continues to operate Metroland today, with Stephen Leon as editor and publisher. Throughout those years, Metroland’s content and design style has evolved, although some of the features—and some of the writers—have remained constant.

But rather than focus on us for this occasion, we have decided to celebrate 30 years of what has been the best and most significant in the Capital Region: the news stories, the politicians, the businesses, the artists, the musicians, etc. We sent surveys to a large number of present and past Metroland staffers and writers, and a number of community members, asking them to select a top 10 in 13 categories. We tallied and weighted the results, which you will see in the pages that follow.

Throughout the year, we will continue to feature editorial relevant to our 30th anniversary. Among other things, if you have a business that is at least 30 years old, and you are not featured in our Over-30 Club celebration on page 26, please send us your info and we will keep adding to the club.

Meanwhile, enjoy the surveys, as well as some fun facts about Metroland that begin right here on this page.


Random facts about Metroland

The name of the newspaper is Metroland, not Metroland Magazine (or The Metroland).

Metroland has been printed in Gloversville; Pittsfield, Mass.; Troy; Scranton, Pa.; and Binghamton.

Metroland’s offices have been on State Street in downtown Albany, Central Avenue in Colonie, Vatrano Road in Albany, Central Avenue in downtown Albany, Broadway in Troy, and Madison Avenue in downtown Albany.

Metroland relies on advertising for more than 95 percent of its revenue.

Metroland founder Peter Iselin was a contestant on Jeopardy.

Peter Iselin founded Metroland primarily to meet women.

Seven of Metroland’s 20 employees have worked here for more than 10 years.

Having been rejected for membership the year before, Metroland was admitted to the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, a national trade association for the industry in 1987.

The current president of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies is Metroland editor and publisher Stephen Leon.

As the Metroland staff pulled an all-nighter preparing the first issue of its new, truly “alternative” format in September 1986, then-editor and publisher Peter Iselin had a miserable cold—to the extent that the most lasting memory of the night is Iselin running around frantically with Kleenex hanging from his nose.

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