The Newspaper Business Is Dead in Philly

The newspaper business — in Philadelphia, at least — is dead.

Not newspapers, understand: They’ll linger on, in diminished and probably less-frequently printed form, for the foreseeable future. And news itself will survive in any number of formats. But the newspaper business? Making profits from newspapers? Dead, on the mass level at least.

Any doubt on that front should be dispelled by two pieces of news that emerged Wednesday, one tremendously sad, the other actually somewhat uplifting: Read more »

Pretty Much No One Attended Today’s Phillies Game

Phillies right fielder Jeff Francoeur hits a double during the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on October 1, 2015.

Phillies right fielder Jeff Francoeur hits a double during the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on October 1, 2015.

In advance of heavy rain predicted ahead of Hurricane Joaquin, the Phillies game was moved to noon today. Since the Phillies have 97 losses and the game was moved just last night, attendance today was small. Very small. It was the smallest attendance in the history of Citizens Bank Park: 13,238.

Of course, that number is not real. Your own eyes can look at photographs and see that literally no one was at this game. Read more »

Atlantic City Is The Drunkest City in New Jersey (Well, Tied For 1st)

Tony's Baltimore Grill bar sign

A sign in the window at Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City. (Photo | Dan McQuade)

It’s no surprise that a city where the booze flows freely at all hours is the drunkest in New Jersey. What might be surprising is Atlantic City is not alone at the No. 1 drunkest place in New Jersey: It’s tied with Belmar, Monmouth County.

The new rankings, compiled by RoadSnacks, rank New Jersey cities based on the number of bars/pubs/liquor stores/wineries per capita, plus the number of recent drunk tweets and the divorce rate. (Okay, that’s pretty clever.) And A.C. and Belmar — not to be confused with Camden County’s Bellmawr — came out tied for the No. 1 spot. Read more »

UPDATE: Hurricane Joaquin Upgraded to Category 4

National Weather Service prediction for Hurricane Joaquin as of October 1st at 5 p.m.

National Weather Service prediction for Hurricane Joaquin as of October 1st at 5 p.m.

[UPDATE 7:55 P.M.] The National Weather Service has moved Hurricane Joaquin’s “cone of uncertainty” east, dropping the chance of a costly, destructive storm. Most of the region’s outdoor events remain on.  [The NWS’s most recent briefing package is here.]

[UPDATE 2:42 p.m.] The National Weather Service has upgraded Hurricane Joaquin to Category 4 storm, “extremely dangerous” as it passes through the Bahamas.

“We don’t know what this hurricane is going to do, what impact it’s going to have on Pennsylvania, but we’re doing everything we can do” to be prepared, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said at an afternoon news briefing. He urged residents to have three days of food and medication, and to stay in their residences unless evacuated. [The NWS’s most recent briefing package.]

[Original 12:04 p.m.] Hurricane Joaquin is currently hitting the Bahamas hard, with max sustained winds of 120 miles per hour. But is it going to hit the mainland U.S.? And will it effect Philadelphia?

Whatever happens, the area is buckling down: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie today declared a state of emergency, readying itself for the first major storm since Superstorm Sandy hit coast three years. Read more »

District Announces School Closures, Charter Conversions

Philadelphia School District Building

Photo by Jeff Fusco

In a move that will affect more than 5,000 students in the district, Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite today announced dramatic changes involving 15 schools.

The moves are a familiar list of school consolidations, charter conversions and closures. Among the actions: Dimner Beeber Middle School in West Philadelphia will be phased out over a two-year period. In Northwest Philly, Morris E. Leeds Middle School and Hill-Freedman World Academy would merge, with Leeds students starting to go to Hill-Freedman. Both Beeber and Leeds, though closed, would still house district schools in their buildings.

“This is an exciting step forward in achieving our mission of having great schools in every neighborhood,” Hite said in a statement. “These recommendations address parental demand for better academic programs in safe, familiar environments while presenting rigorous and engaging opportunities for students.” Read more »

Mayor Nutter Likes Car-Free Streets, Too


Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

• Mayor Nutter wants to repeat Popeadelphia’s car-free streets, too — and soon.

One of the clear successes of the papal visit was how Philadelphians — and our visitors — embraced the car-free streets of the “Francis Festival Grounds” as a place to jog, play football, and generally saunter in relaxed, neighborly fashion. An “Open Streets PHL” campaign had gotten under way to persuade the next mayor to create a car-free weekend next year. Mayor Nutter is way ahead of that: reports he wants to repeat the experiment this year, before he leaves office.

“Mayor Nutter is excited about the possibilities for creating an innovative Urban Commons on a section of Center City,” a spokesman told the website. The commons area would be “considerably smaller than the Francis Festival Grounds, for biking, walking, running, skateboarding, rollerblading and a range of programming.” The administration will be contacting “impacted stakeholders” soon to figure out how to pull it off. Read more »

WATCH: Ratmobile Invokes Pope Francis Outside Comcast Center

Last Thursday, NBC 10’s technicians and photographers went on strike. On Friday, IBEW Local 98 leader John Dougherty said two union members picketing were hit by cars driven by NBC 10 employees. Later that night, the Giant Inflatable Union Rat was spotted outside the Comcast Center.

Today, it’s back. And along with it, an appearance of the Union Ratmobile, an actual car tricked out to make it look like a rat. And they have a message for Comcast. Read more »

City Paper Shutting Down, Merging Operations with PW


The Philadelphia alt-weekly wars are over.

Today Broad Street Media today announced it had acquired the rights to the City Paper intellectual property. As a result, City Paper will cease print publication on October 8th; its website will be merged into the operations of Philadelphia Weekly.

The Northeast Times, which Broad Street Media also owns, first reported the story. “Sev­er­al of the part­ners of Broad Street Me­dia are also part­ners in R.P.M. Philly, which owns Philly Weekly and South Philly Re­view,” Broad Street Media publisher Perry Cor­setti told the Times. “While we re­spect the his­tory Phil­adelphia has with City Pa­per, we have made a com­mit­ment to Philly Weekly that we in­tend to hon­or. It doesn’t make sense for us to com­pete with ourselves.” The paper reported that it’s expected that City Paper‘s operations will be consolidated and its best features will be be incorporated into PW. Read more »

Hurricane Joaquin’s Projected Path Looks Bad for Philly


[UPDATE: 12:00 P.M., October 1st] Hurricane Joaquin Moves North; Will It Make Landfall? No matter what Hurricane Joaquin does, it looks like we’re in for a wet next couple of days. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie today declared a state of emergency, readying itself for the first major storm since Superstorm Sandy hit coast three years.

[ORIGINAL] The forecasted path for Hurricane Joaquin is not looking good for the Philadelphia area.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded Joaquin from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane earlier today, and now says it is strengthening. It’s currently moving southwest toward the Bahamas, but by early next week appears destined to hit the Philadelphia area. The NHS says that “additional strengthening is expected, and Joaquin could become a major hurricane during the next couple of days.” Per the NHC, parts of the East Coast could be under a hurricane watch as soon as Thursday night. It’s looking like Joaquin would hit the area on Sunday or Monday, if it does.

At noon today, the National Weather Service’s Philadelphia/Mt. Holly bureau released a daily briefing: “A dangerous weather pattern is developing for our region. Threats include very heavy rainfall, inland river flooding, as well as major coastal flooding with heavy surf and beach erosion. These impacts will be felt this week from a storm system affecting the region. There is now also the potential for major impacts from Hurricane Joaquin affecting the region this weekend into early next week.”

The NWS says 4-10 inches of rain could soak the region, and that weather will complicate preparations if a hurricane hits us early next week.

A word on the above forecast track, provided by the National Hurricane Center. The “cone” in that image is not the storm’s projected size; it is the possible path it could take. Either way, we’re going to get a lot of rain. Right after Pope Weekend (Live 8 plus a snowstorm), we’re headed for a disruptive weather event. Read more »

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