With little notice and quite a bit of controversy, the City Paper
was bought and shut down by Broad Street Media. The final issue came out this week.
You may have read this afternoon that Philadelphia City Paper had been sold and would cease publication as of Thursday, Oct. 8.
This came as a surprise to us, too. We first heard about it via Broad Street Media’s press release announcing that they’d acquired the intellectual rights to City Paper (in other words they bought the name and the URL.) That was brought to our attention when people from other newspapers started calling us for comment or friends started texting their condolences, the result of a very unfortunate misunderstanding between our current owners and our soon-to-be-owners about the timing of the announcement.
We’re all obviously really sad. We’re intensely proud of the work we’ve done this past year — not to mention the past three decades...
So. At the moment, we're the only people here, playing maudlin songs on the jukebox. Somebody just said, "It might be really great to do a post chronicling what it's like when an entire staff gets laid off!" Someone else replied, "Dude, the clicks don't count anymore."
They don't, we guess. We'd like to think, though, that the clicks were never the most important thing. We did our best to do good journalism, to give a voice to the people and stories of Philadelphia that sometimes get overlooked.
"It's heartbreaking," said Daniel Denvir, a multiple-award winner who covered criminal justice and public education for City Paper until this past spring. "Alt-weeklies everywhere are in a death spiral. And that death spiral has now consumed the City Paper, the last legit alt-weekly standing in the city. It leaves an enormous hole in the news ecosystem."
Fortunately, and effort is in the works to salvage the archives. From the City Paper:
We're happy to be able to update this post with the news that, while City Paper will not be publishing any new stuff after the 8th, Darwin Oordt, the CEO of Broad Street Media, has said he is committed to finding a "good steward" to keep our 35+ years of archives public and available — possibly Temple's Urban Archives, which has expressed an interest in helping with the project.
(For more on efforts to save the archives, check out this post from the Columbia Journalism Review
Speaking as someone who came up in the alt-weekly world and occasionally contributed to the City Paper
, you will be sorely missed.
Original source: City Paper