Those of us who do remain are intent on continuing to produce the best newspaper in Baltimore.
Published: February 26, 2014
Last Thursday, the City Paper staff was called to a meeting in the conference room of our Mount Vernon office and told that as of March 5 we would be owned by the Baltimore Sun Media Group (BSMG). The announcement came after months of speculation since current owners Times-Shamrock announced last August that they were seeking to sell City Paper.
The move may come as a shock to anyone familiar with the history of City Paper and alternative weeklies, which were largely founded as a counterweight to typically more staid, less adventurous dailies. (Although, as Edward Ericson Jr. points out in “What Happens Now,” [Mobtown Beat, page 7], it is far from unprecedented.) City Paper, launched as City Squeeze in 1977 by Russ Smith and Alan Hirsch, has been a vital part of Baltimore ever since.
We have been told that there will be layoffs in the transition. At press time, we do not know the extent of them. Timothy E. Ryan, publisher, president, and CEO of BSMG has said, “We want the paper to remain a valued alternative, independent voice in Baltimore.” Taking him at his word, we are assuming that the bulk of the staff—people who make City Paper “a valued alternative, independent voice in Baltimore”—will remain in place.
Those of us who do remain are intent on continuing to produce the best newspaper in Baltimore, complete with the award-winning investigative journalism, arts coverage, design, illustration, and photography that have been part of the equation from the beginning. We urge readers to continue watching this space and judge for yourselves. If we are not upholding that tradition, you will know, and Baltimore will be a worse place for it.