INDIANAPOLIS - The former managing editor of NUVO in Indianapolis says he is cautiously optimistic that the alternative newspaper will be able to rebuild its brand. The newspaper announced over the weekend it was ending its print publication after nearly 30 years. Ed Wenck, who now serves as content director at CEDIA in Fishers, says the initial announcement was heartbreaking, especially for the staff who were let go as a result of the move.

Wenck says an alt-weekly newspaper brings a certain voice to the community that is not otherwise represented. 

"Alt-weeklies have traditionally been the first to cover things like the move for LGBTQ rights or covering what's happening musically in a town," said Wenck. "NUVO covered what was happening in hip-hop in Indianapolis before anybody else. NUVO covered a lot of the arts and culture that made Indy so vibrant and really helped propel the city into a kind of renaissance...and they did investigative journalism, too. Not to denigrate any other publication but when you're little, when you're nimble, when you're aggressive, when you're rambunctious, you can make some stuff happen that's really, really interesting and unique."

Kevin McKinney, editor and publisher of NUVO said on the paper's website Monday that he has gifted the brand and its assets to the nonprofit NUVO Cultural Foundation, which will allow for a greater, more writer-focused journalistic effort.

"While those of us who love print will mourn its passing, there is a silver lining," McKinney said. "Print and advertising took up 75 percent of our time and focus. Now we can take the precious resources that were applied to print and advertising, and focus all of our energies on reinventing journalism online."

Wenck served as managing editor from mid-2013 to mid-2016. He said the paper always had its structures from a budget standpoint. 

"It's no secret that the news business, when it lost its classified advertising revenue to place like Craigslist, it hurt. Especially with a newspaper that has traditionally been free, it is tough to ask folks to pony up for content that they have been getting for free for literally decades."

McKinney says the publication will be membership driven moving forward, which will force it to be more accountable to the community.