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Meet the old boss 

It's been five years since I last sat in this chair at Creative Loafing, and I couldn't be happier to be back.

A little reintroduction: In 2005 and 2006, I briefly served as CL's editor after a three-year run at The Charlotte Observer. During my year here, we made some key adjustments that reflected the monumental changes going on in Charlotte at the time. We increased coverage of issues affecting the area's exploding Latino population, its continually expanding African-American community, its rich coalition of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders, and the increasingly diverse younger users and readers of Creative Loafing's website and print edition. Of course, we also continued CL's legacy of award-winning watchdog journalism and snarky commentary on Charlotte's business and political leaders, artists and musicians.

Charlotte and the media landscape have changed dramatically in the past half-decade. The economy has taken a nosedive; print no longer reigns as king of all media. And Creative Loafing has remained in the thick of it all. My predecessor, Carlton Hargro, maintained CL's focus on diversity while helping to grow its online community, inviting user participation, launching blogs that run all day, every day. Not only will we continue this, but we'll be expanding to new digital platforms, making your experience of getting the latest news and event listings quicker, easier and more fun.

It's a great time to be a Charlottean. We have more arts and entertainment options than ever; more restaurants, more galleries, more theater events and more opportunities for community involvement. And with the Democratic National Convention coming next year, those monumental changes of the past decade won't be slowing down. So strap in and keep your eyes on Creative Loafing — because we've only begun to get beneath the surface of what Charlotte is today and what it will look like tomorrow.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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