Nashville Scene publisher Chris Ferrell will step down next week to start up a new media company with an unnamed local investor, Ferrell told The City Paper Thursday.
Plans for the still-in-organization company are still taking shape, Ferrell said. Several markets in the Southeast are being considered, and both acquiring and starting up publications are possibilities. Ferrell said he would likely be able to provide more details about the company in the next month.
“I’m looking at a number of things now,” Ferrell said. “There’s not a lot I can say about that yet.”
Ferrell said his contract with the Scene does not include any non-compete limitations that could affect his ventures in the Nashville market.
In Ferrell’s absence, the Scene’s temporary publisher will be Stuart Folb of Village Voice Media LLC, the company that owns the Scene. Folb already supervises the Scene, as well as Village Voice Media publications in Houston, Kansas City, Mo. and Dallas, Ferrell said.
Liz Garrigan, editor of the Scene, said it’s her belief that Folb intends to look locally for a replacement for Ferrell. In the mean time, she said she does not expect any changes in the paper’s content or staff.
Ferrell, 38, has worked as Scene publisher since 2005, succeeding Albie Del Favero shortly after a majority interest in the paper was sold to Village Voice Media. Del Favero is now publisher of The City Paper.
“In terms of this paper’s health, we have had two of the most flush years in The Scene’s history, and that’s owing to Chris,” Garrigan said. “We’re certainly going to miss [him].”