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Mr. Wrong

Inside Information

I have a lot of Opinions about how the paper should be run, and if I owned it, they wouldn’t be Opinions anymore, dig?

There is exciting news! Exciting for me, anyway, because I work at City Paper, Baltimore’s Free Alternative Weekly, which is now also City Paper, Baltimore’s Free Alternative Weekly That Is FOR SALE! I don’t know anything about how to buy the paper (yet), but this is America, so if you found some extra coins in your sofa or you got the Groupon for half-off a Major Metropolitan Alternative Weekly, you should contact a company called Dirks, Van Essen & Murray and tell ’em the “Mr. Wrong” column sent you, and maybe I will get a Finder’s Fee! Yeah, I’m not holding my breath.

Also FOR SALE are these other fine alternative weekly Newspapers: Metro Times (Detroit, Mich.), Orlando Weekly (Orlando, Fla.), Current (San Antonio, Texas), and Scene (Cleveland, Ohio), so if you want a fistful of Alt Weeklies, you could probably do a Bulk Discount? I’m thinking like, five papers for the price of four? Anyway, I dunno, ask Dirks, Van Essen, & maybe Murray.

The Dirks, & Etc. company doesn’t own City Paper, or any of those other papers, they are the “brokers,” who will facilitate a sale between You, The Future Owner of Baltimore’s Best Alternative Weekly Owned by You, and the Haggerty and Lynett families, owners of CEGW INC., (d.b.a. Times-Shamrock Communications), a modest Pennsylvanian Newspaper and Radio Empire which owns The Times Tribune, a daily newspaper that used to be The Scranton Times, and according to this list on the Wikipedia, they own a big pile of papers, man: The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), The Daily Review (Towanda, Pa.), The Progress-Index (Petersburg, Va.), The Republican & Herald (Pottsville, Pa.), The News-Item (Shamokin, Pa.), The Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania), The Virgin Islands Daily News (Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands), The Abington Suburban, The Triboro Banner, The Valley Advantage, The Pocono Times, The Citizen-Standard (Valley View, Pa.), Wyoming County Press Examiner (Tunkhannock, Pa.), The Farmer’s Friend (Towanda, Pa.), The Northeast Driller, Susquehanna County Independent (Montrose, Pa.), The Colonial Voice (Colonial Heights, Va.), The Troy Pennysaver, The Owego Pennysaver, Ithaca & Tri-Village Pennysaver, and they are the company that has owned City Paper, Baltimore’s Most Owned by A Family Newspaper Free Alternative Weekly Since 1987, and Now They Are Selling Us.

Personally, as an employee who has worked here since the last time the paper got sold, I think it’s just Business, you know? Money? I can respect that, totally, the Business of America, Etc., you know? Businesses get bought and sold every day, man, I don’t think anybody here at the paper is taking this personally, but that is just how I feel about it, personally. When Scranton bought the paper, I remember we got a better health plan, and salaries got better, and we even got to buy into a 401(k), and they (and you know who They are) would even kick in a little once a year, gratis. A little somethin’ for the effort, you know?

Times-to-the-Shamrock also owns the FM Classic Rocker radio station WZBA, aka “The Bay,” and it has always been a great disappointment to me that City Paper and “The Bay” never developed any kinda multimedia Synergy, you know? It woulda been fun to have City Paper people on the radio station owned by our owners instead of having to be on all these other stations, no offense, just saying, but not saying on the radio, you know? Synergy!

I wish I had won that last Powerball because I woulda bought City Paper, plus, they (the Scrantons) have some other papers for sale, namely, The Virgin Islands Daily News (Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands), and I woulda bought ’em both, Baltimore I woulda bought, because I have worked here forever and there are a few changes I would like to make, you know? I have a lot of Opinions about how the paper should be run, and if I owned it, they wouldn’t be Opinions anymore, dig? Yeah, man, when I own this paper, well, you’ll see, maybe! I think I would be a good Owner of City Paper, but right now it’s wide open, man, if you have the cash! I’m totally not getting any kinda finder’s fee, I swear, I asked and everything.

The U.S. Virgin Islands paper I would buy so I had someplace to go and set up one of those “offshore bank accounts” because I saw that on The Sopranos, once, on Home Box, and it’s a good way to be rich or something. They don’t actually have “offshore banking” in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but they have it in the British ones, so I would have to commute, but I’d be in the Virgin Islands, man! I’d get one of those “go-fast” boats like in the Major Motion Picture Miami Vice, starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.

The final jewel in the crown of My Newspaper Empire would be a paper that the Times-Shamrock & Co. does not even technically have FOR SALE, but it’s called The Farmer’s Friend, and I would offer the brokers something for that paper to broker about, because who doesn’t want to be a friend to the Farmers? They make all our food, man.

Realistically, though, I think the Virgin Island paper and the Farmer’s Friend paper might be a bit of a stretch, even if I cash in my 401(k), to buy CP, so if anybody out there has a Solid Plan for buying City Paper, please to write in and I’ll run some of ’em in my in my column, but if I get any really good ones, maybe I won’t run ’em, you know what I mean?

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