A Q&A with Don Russell, New Editor-in-Chief of Philly Weekly

Don Russell - Joe Sixpack - photo of him holding a beer

Photo via joesixpack.net

Earlier this week, Broad Street Media announced it had been purchased by Donnelly Distribution, an advertising and circular company in New Jersey. Donnelly’s purchased gave them a chain of community newspapers in Philadelphia and the suburbs, including the Northeast Times, the South Philly Review and the Fishtown Star. It also bought Philadelphia Weekly, the remaining alt-weekly in town.

At the time of the announcement, Donnelly Distribution also announced it had installed a new editor-in-chief of all its publications: Don Russell. Best known as beer columnist Joe Sixpack, he recently announced he’d be taking his column away from the Daily News and to the Weekly and its sister publications. Before taking a buyout at the DN in 2005, he was a longtime reporter for the tabloid pub.

Philadelphia magazine chatted with Russell about the future of PW and the other papers. This interview has been lightly edited for style and condensed. Read more »

Philly Weekly, Northeast Times Sold to N.J. Circular Company

Joe Sixpack - PW

Don Russell (aka Joe Sixpack) is the new editor-in-chief of a group of publications that includes Philadelphia Weekly, the Northeast Times and the South Philly Review.

A company that drops circulars on Philadelphia-area doorsteps just got a bit bigger.

Donnelly Distribution, a Pennsauken-based circular distribution company that was previously a minority owner of the newspaper group, announced today it had acquired Broad Street Media from former CEO Darwin Oordt and other owners. Broad Street Media owns Philadelphia Weekly, the Northeast Times, South Philly Review as well as other smaller newspapers.

Don Russell, the longtime Daily News scribe who worked at the paper for years and penned the Joe Sixpack beer column, has been named the editor-in-chief of Broad Street Media. Russell announced he was moving the column to the Broad Street Media papers earlier this month.

“I’m a true believer in the value of community newspapers, and it’s my aim to support journalistic excellence at all of these publications,” Donnelly Distribution president Richard Donnelly said. “We have already developed exciting plans for their future.” 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 »

Philadelphia Weekly, South Philly Review Sold to Broad Street Media


The publisher of Broad Street Media — which owns the Northeast Times, the Star and several wire services — confirmed to City Paper that the company has purchased Philadelphia Weekly and the South Philly Review. Last month, Review Publishing sold Atlantic City Weekly to Berkshire Hathaway.

Broad Street Media publisher Perry Corsetti couldn’t immediately be reached. He told CP the deal was finalized at the end of last month.

Read more »

Guide To the Jersey Shore Guides

Photo by Jason Varney

Diving Horse | Photo by Jason Varney

It’s Friday, the ocean is calling your name, it’s going to be absolutely beautiful both today and tomorrow. Leave work now. The Internet has spoken, and here’s all you’ll need to know about where and what to eat this weekend. Read more »

LGBT Six-Word Memoir of the Day: Philly Weekly‘s Bill Chenevert

44. Bill ChenevertIn partnership with SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoir Projectwe asked you to submit your queer life stories—succinctly. Every day until we run out, we will present the most touching, poignant and hilarious entries in meme form.

Today, Philly Weekly music writer Bill Chenevert with another one of those memoirs that made us spit coffee across our desks. You can keep up with Bill via philadelphiaweekly.com, where he covers local events and, in his weekly music column, “On the Record,” dishes on the most note-worthy album releases.

Been keeping up with our LGBT Six-Word Memoir Project? Click here to see all our entries to date.

Philadelphia Weekly Fail: We Meant Dave Lai, Not Benny Lai


On Wednesday morning, the new Philadelphia Weekly hit the honor boxes, with a cover story about the alt-weekly’s favorite things in Philadelphia. The cover (seen here) proudly claims Vietnamese restaurateur Benny Lai as one of those favorites, and we couldn’t agree more. Except the guy on the cover is not, in fact, Benny Lai. Read more »

Philly Weekly Spoofs Philly Mag with “Being Hot in Philly” Cover

Philly Mag’s “Being White in Philly” cover story has received a lot of angry rebuttals. Here’s the first light-hearted one, which graces the front of today’s Philadelphia Weekly.

Inside, a bewildered man feels the pain of an attractive woman in Rittenhouse being trailed by two unseemly fellows, and holds his nose while observing the unkempt masses who shop at his neighborhood organic grocer. Read the whole parody here.

Philadelphia Weekly Staffer Going on Food Stamps

For a week, at least. As Newark Mayor Cory Booker finishes up his “food stamp challenge,” PW reporter Randy LoBasso will embark on his own week-long attempt to live on five dollars a day. Here’s LoBasso:

The holidays are coming up, and for lots of us, that means time with our families, a day or two off work and a general massive increase in food consumption. But for the 473,037 people in Philadelphia (31 percent of the city’s population) who rely on food stamps, things aren’t always so dandy. According to statistics by the Hunger Coalition, the average food stamp (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipient in Philadelphia gets $5 a day to spend on food. Which, if I’m calculating correctly, is about two slices of pizza, and maybe a drink. Or, one latte. Or, 3/5 of a burrito. Or, one craft beer. Or … you get the idea.

With $27 of the $35 at his disposal, LoBasso has already bought “pita, bread, cheese, tomato sauce, pasta, peanut butter, jelly, milk, butter, oats, bananas.” Follow the challenge @randylobasso. [Philadelphia Weekly]

Milk & Honey Cafe Has Some Work To Do

Brian Freedman takes a look at Milk & Honey Cafe on the Parkway, the offshoot of the popular West Philly market, and finds that while the food is good in theory, the execution could use a little help.

The company’s website touts a mission as laudable as any: supporting the local farmers, purveyors and residents in an effort to benefit both the planet in general and the immediate community in particular. It’s impossible to argue with these goals; they are as important and beneficial as can be. But at the end of the day, the food, to paraphrase that same mission statement, speaks for itself. And in that regard, Milk & Honey’s new cafe has some work to do.

Milk & Honey’s New Cafe Strives to Balance Local Ingredients with Quick Presentation [Philadelphia Weekly]