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.
City Paper‘s editor, Lil Swanson, says, “We’re all in shock right now. We just worked 10 days straight so we could cover the pope.” PW‘s editor Stephen Segal tweeted today he was leaving. No other details have been released on the two papers’ futures.
The papers once had a similar focus, but they have diverged since the sale of PW to Broad Street Media in February. City Paper continued as a traditional alt-weekly with a strong news presence — its editor, Swanson, is a former Northeast Times editor — while PW turned more into an events-and-culture newspaper. It even ran a full-page cover ad for vaping (okay, vaping and concerts) in May.
(Disclosures: I worked for PW as its blogger for about three and a half years in the mid-2000s; I was an occasional contributor to City Paper from 2013-2014.)
According to the Times, PW’s circulation is 55,000, while the latest figure for City Paper lists a 50,000 circulation. PW is generally smaller, page-wise, but City Paper does not run full-page cover advertisements.
Bruce Schimmel established City Paper in 1981. He sold it to the Rock Family in 1996, who then sold it to Metro’s owners in 2014.
“Philly Weekly and philadelphiaweekly.com have grown tremendously since we redesigned and revitalized them after taking over in February,” Corsetti told the Times. “We continue to be the go-to source for the latest in food, arts, music and entertainment in Philadelphia. We’re excited to welcome City Paper readers to Philly Weekly as we continue to grow and improve the publication.”
Reaction to news of City Paper’s eminent demise was immediate:
— Stephanie Farr (@FarFarrAway) September 30, 2015
— Daniel Denvir (@DanielDenvir) September 30, 2015
— Sam Adams (@SamuelAAdams) September 30, 2015
The @citypaper was the first place that would pay me to write about movies/TV. Great staff, great journalism, great editors. Sad loss.
— Michael Gold (@migold) September 30, 2015
— Kevin M. Lerner (@klerner) September 30, 2015
So sad about @citypaper. My first job out of college. First place to pay me to review movies, write about TV. Fantastic training ground.
— Molly Eichel (@mollyeichel) September 30, 2015
— Allie Ilagan (@allieil) September 30, 2015
— alli katz (@allikatz) September 30, 2015
Citypaper may be gone, but their honor boxes around Center City will collect tags and stickers for decades to come
— Colin Weir (@radiocolin) September 30, 2015
— Mike Madden (@MikeMadden) September 30, 2015
This is a developing story.
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