Metro Buys City Paper; Layoffs Ensue
[Update 2:35 pm] Jennifer Clark, who will be the associate publisher of both newspapers, said they will continue to operate with separate editorial identities.
“We are very much committed to maintaining separate editiorial style and function … with some obvious sharing of resources in the back office and production,” Clark told Philly Mag. “City Paper is great at investigative journalism, that’s a weekly format. Metro’s great at news you can use, quick bites of information. We plan to continue those unique styles, and the voice that they each have.”
Clark would not comment on the terms of the sale — no word on how much money changed hands — nor would she comment on the layoffs at City Paper that accompanied the sale. Publisher Nancy Stuski was reportedly out as part of the sale, as well as a staff writer, some sales and art staffers. Clark said only: “That was done by the selling party.”
She also declined to describe the process that culminated in the sale, saying discussions proceeded during “a pretty condensed period.”
“I think it’s a great thing for both parties to have a stronger collaboration, potential to work together where it matters, but to maintain two important brands in Philadelphia. It’ll provide a great service to our readers and our advertisers.”
[Original 2:09 pm] As expected, Metro US, owner of the free Metro Philadelphia daily tabloid, has purchased City Paper, an alt-weekly and longtime fixture of the city’s media scene. A number of City Paper staffers were reportedly laid off as part of the deal.
Here’s the press release announcing the deal:
Metro acquires Philadelphia City Paper
Together the two publications will dominate the market, reaching 840,000 Philadelphians every week.
Philadelphia (Aug. 13, 2014) – Metro US, the most-read free daily newspaper nationwide, announces today that it has agreed to acquire Philadelphia City Paper, the most-read weekly alternative newspaper in Philadelphia, from the Rock family.
“I am very happy to welcome City Paper, the 32-year old award-winning alternative institution of Philadelphia, to the Metro family,” says Yggers Mortensen, Metro US Publisher and CEO. “I am proud the Rock family has chosen Metro to continue to develop City Paper’s iconic brand. Their dedication to City Paper and the Philadelphia community will benefit us for years to come.”
“We are pleased to have City Paper join Metro’s successful group of publications and look forward to watching the paper flourish under its new ownership,” says Robert Rock.
With immediate effect, Jennifer Clark becomes Associate Publisher of both City Paper and Metro Philadelphia.
“The addition of City Paper to our media portfolio will strengthen our offerings and market position in Philadelphia,” says Jennifer Clark. “We are glad to bring the best of Philadelphia together for the benefits of readers and advertisers alike.”
Lillian Swanson, City Paper Editor-in-Chief, will report directly to Alek Korab, Metro US Editor-in- Chief. “I am looking forward to capitalizing on City Paper’s rich heritage of investigative journalism and hyper-local content, and bringing that content to new highs,” says Korab.
The two publications jointly reach over 840,000 Philadelphians every week and deliver to the most attractive and vibrant audience in Philadelphia. On Thursdays, the combination reaches more adults under 50 years old than the Inquirer and the Daily News combined.
The acquisition of City Paper is part of an ongoing strategy for Metro US to expand its offering across metropolitan markets. Earlier this year, Metro launched two dedicated magazines, a hyper local suburban section in Philadelphia and several websites, such as Club Metro and ZipTrials.us.
Metro is the world’s largest newspaper – attracting a young, active audience of over 20 million daily in more than 100 cities worldwide. Launched in 2000, Metro US is now the #1 most read free daily nationwide with 1.2 million daily readers. Designed for a 20-minute read, Metro delivers news and entertainment to commuters Monday through Friday.