Your Neighborhood News Online
TheAlternativePress.com (TAP) was founded in October, 2008 by Michael and Lauryn Shapiro, residents of New Providence, New Jersey, who sought to provide their town’s residents with an all-online, objective, independent, daily local newspaper. Months earlier, Michael and Lauryn learned that their one-year-old son would need open-heart surgery and Michael, a lawyer at a large firm in New York City, decided it was time to work close to home, spend more time with the family, and help the community at the same time. Shortly after the site’s launch, he left his firm to lead TAP full-time.
At first, the site covered just two towns. A few months later another was added and just three years later, TheAlternativePress.com covers sixteen towns in New Jersey and is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association. Expansion plans include licensing the site to entrepreneurial journalists who would like to start a newspaper in their own town, using the TAP site, business model and expertise. TAP’s first licensee, PatersonPress.com, was recognized as best online news site by the Society of Professional Journalists. TAP's most recent licensee, journalist Jennifer Jean Miller, explains her decision to start TAP in Newton, New Jersey here.
Today, TAP has nearly 200 paid freelance reporters on staff, 50 columnists, and a 5 member sales team, all residents of New Jersey and most living in TAP’s coverage towns.
TAP's Advisory Board of Directors include Stephen Balog; Kevin Cummings, President and CEO of Investors Bank; Louis LaSalle, EVP of Barnabas Health; and Eric Levine, Shareholder at Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper.
TAP's Executive Board includes CFO Gary Kapner, New Providence small business owner (Creative Wallcoverings & Interiors) and former President of the New Providence Business and Professional Association. Diane Klaif, TAP's President of Marketing, has a newspaper background, having worked for The Wall Street Journal, Asian Wall Street Journal, and International Herald Tribune.
From the beginning, The Alternative Press surrounded itself with talented, highly respected community members who formed Advisory Boards in each of its communities. Advisory Boards help develop policy and ensure that when issues arise, a diverse group of independent individuals advise the best course to take to handle the issue.
In addition to providing an opportunity for scores of talented writers, editors and marketing representatives to work close to home, The Alternative Press is proud to support all things local. TAP is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce in every town it covers. TAP sponsors community events in its coverage towns, provides scholarships to local high school students, has booths at local Street Fairs, markets itself in Booster programs for the high schools, and holds local networking events. In addition, TAP’s Executive Board members are actively involved in the community starting at the top. Michael Shapiro, TAP’s CEO and Publisher, is President of the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights, serves on the Board of the Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of Commerce, the Livingston Chamber of Commerce, the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, and the New Providence Business & Professional Association, and volunteers on several committees including for the Summit Area YMCA. Gary Kapner, TAP's CFO, is the past President of the New Providence Business and Professional Association and currently serves on New Providence's Planning Board. Diane Klaif, TAP's President of Marketing, is the former Council President of Summit, New Jersey.
We are committed to all things local. Shop Local. Read Local. TheAlternativePress.com