The Austin Chronicle is an alternative weekly, tabloid-style newspaper published every Thursday in Austin, Texas, United States. The paper is distributed through free news-stands, often at local eateries or coffee houses frequented by its targeted demographic. The newspaper reported a readership of 230,500.
The Chronicle was co-founded in 1981 by publisher Nick Barbaro and editor Louis Black, with assistance from others who largely met through the graduate film studies program at the University of Texas. Barbaro and Black are also co-founders of the South by Southwest Festival, although the festival operates as a separate company. The paper initially was published bi-weekly, and later weekly. Its precursor in style and format was the Austin Sun, a bi-weekly that had ceased operations in 1978, after four years of publication. The first issue of the chronicle was distributed on September 4, 1981.
The Chronicle regularly includes reviews and feature articles about food, cinema, theater, art and music. The paper also has a number of annual features, including the 'Best of Austin' awards, cut-out masks for Halloween, the April Fool's edition and a short story contest. The Chronicle sponsors the annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, normally held in late August and is known for having a liberal and pro-environmental viewpoint.
In 2006, the Chronicle launched two staff-written blogs: Chronic, irreverently covering local, state, and national news and politics; and The Score, providing sports coverage not found in the print edition.