City Paper Dumps This Modern World

Here’s one way to measure the passing of a journalistic era: City Paper is cutting This Modern World, a longtime mainstay of alt-weekly cartoons, from its pages.

Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow made the announcement Friday on Twitter; City Paper editor Lillian Swanson confirmed it this morning, and said she hoped to use the space — both in the budget and in City Paper‘s pages — to feature local cartoonists.
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Is Upstart Metro Buying City Paper?


Metro, the free daily tabloid newspaper, is reportedly looking to buy Philadelphia City Paper, the stalwart alt-weekly that has been buffeted in recent years by the newspaper industry’s headwinds.

Several sources suggested on Tuesday afternoon that the sale had been agreed to, but according to City Paper publisher Nancy Stuski, the situation between the papers was still in flux.

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UPDATE: City Paper Is Out of Twitter Jail


UPDATE: After more than 24 hours on some sort of Twitter spam list, the City Paper‘s Twitter operations are now back to normal.

ORIGINAL: Like almost all news organizations these days, Philadelphia’s City Paper relies heavily on its social media presence to get eyes on its stories, which, in many cases, expose societal ills and evils. The alt-weekly has over 26,500 followers on Twitter. But since Wednesday morning, the newspaper has had problems sharing stories there. Read more »

William Penn Foundation Suspends Grants to City Agencies

The William Penn Foundation, the powerful grant-making foundation, has suspended new grants to city agencies while it faces a complaint before the Philadelphia Board of Ethics that it improperly guided development of a restructuring plan for city schools.

City Paper’s Dan Denvir reports:

The William Penn Foundation has suspended grant-making to city-related agencies after public education advocates filed a complaint charging that the $2 billion philanthropy violated Philadelphia’s new lobbying code when it funded and directed millions of outside dollars to pay the Boston Consulting Group to develop a controversial restructuring plan for the School District of Philadelphia.

“A citizen complaint was recently filed with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics alleging that certain grantmaking activities of the Foundation are regulated by the City’s lobbying registration and reporting ordinance,” according to an email from Interim President Helen Davis Picher. “The Foundation wants to ensure our full compliance with the ordinance and is awaiting further clarification with regard to its scope concerning permissible grant activity.”

The city says that it received a letter announcing the decision in reference to a grant application seeking funding for Bartram’s Mile, a proposed 1.1-mile trail extension linking the east and west sides of the Schuylkill River.

The complaint against the Penn Foundation was brought by Parents United For Public Education, which on Monday criticized the foundation’s latest action, saying its complaint had little to do with the vast majority of its “responsible” grants.

Denvir last year profiled Jeremy Nowak, then the foundation’s chief executive, suggesting that Nowak was using the foundation to reshape public education in Philadelphia; Nowak stepped down from the position several months later, citing his “lightning rod” status as a reason. I named Denvir’s profile a piece of “Philly Journalism That Mattered” in 2012. And you can read PhillyMag’s new profile of Nowak in our most recent issue.