'City Paper' to close Aug. 9

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 9:55am

After 13 years, The City Paper will cease operations with the publication of its Friday, Aug. 9, issue.

Chris Ferrell, CEO of SouthComm, made the announcement to employees this morning.

"In the last few days, we made the difficult decision to stop publishing The City Paper," he said. "After years of being subsidized by our investors and other Southcomm publications, we finally determined that there was not enough advertiser support for the free newsweekly model we were trying to sustain. The model proved very popular with readers, but in publishing the revenue doesn't necessarily follow the readership."

Ferrell said that the tough climate for advertising dollars made having multiple news properties extremely difficult, particularly a general interest publication like The City Paper. A portion of the staff will be laid off while others will be redeployed to other SouthComm publications.

"Going forward we will be merging some of our editorial resources into our profitable publications in Nashville in an effort to make them even stronger," Ferrell said. "You will see some of the names you have grown familiar with in The City Paper in the masthead of the Nashville Scene and Nashville Post. Both publications will expand their news coverage to fill the gap left by the closing of The City Paper. David Boclair will continue his coverage of Nashville sports, for example."

City Paper Editor Steve Cavendish expressed pride in the paper's performance.

"I cannot say enough about the job this staff has done in covering Nashville," he said. "We punched above our weight, told a lot of interesting stories, and held officials and institutions accountable. This city is a better place when you have more professional journalists covering it and I'm sorry we won't continue as a publication."

The City Paper launched as a free Monday-Friday publication in November 2000. Founded by Brian Brown with a local ownership group, the paper continued as a daily for most of the decade. After SouthComm — owner of the Scene, Post, nFocus and other publications — purchased the paper from the Thompson family in 2008, frequency was eventually shifted to a weekly basis.

"Many of us have regularly contributed to — and at times had to confront head on — the continuing evolution of the media industry, but that doesn't make days like today any easier," said Post Editor Geert De Lombaerde. "Looking ahead, the changes we're making to the Post and the Scene will make both publications more robust. We will work harder than ever to earn the trust of our consumers and advertisers."

55 Comments on this post:

By: NewYorker1 on 7/25/13 at 12:24

Are you gusy going to miss me too?

By: yucchhii on 7/25/13 at 2:27

Just as well anyway, they wouldn't run a story about how bad off the corruptness is at the Nashville Rescue Mission. After a number of homeless people who stayed there were willing to testify to the city paper and were TRUTHful about it. Reporters showed up and no one ever got back to us and no story. Finall they said it wasn't NEWSWORTHY...Wait, a "SHELTER" that purposely makes things MORE difficult for homeless who are actually TRYING to get back on their feet by finding work and everything else needed to make a come back...many can barely get back on there feet when the mission does absolutely NOTHING to help and makes up rules that actually HINDER some one from making a recovery......that isn't news worthy? Too many things about that place to mention and it's NOT newsworthy? GOOD RIDENCE!! When I get into the position I nedd to be in....rescue mission...WATCH OUT!!

By: yucchhii on 7/25/13 at 2:28


By: puzilla on 7/25/13 at 6:12

In my opinion the most solid journalism I've seen in any paper. They investigated, they were fair, they called out those in power and the little guy when it was warranted, and they made stories rather than just recirculate headlines. Serious loss to Nashville and media in general

By: Vuenbelvue on 7/25/13 at 6:51

I'm sorry to hear of this closing and have enjoyed the City paper. I can say I also learned a lot reading other opinions in the comment sections and I don't think it was all negative. We still have a right to our opinions and to share them.
I will always wonder if the Nashville Chamber of Commerce had its members refuse to advertise. Also, we may never learn if Producer 2 was able to eke out a living on the MCC trough instead of having to travel so much. I have heard several people say they pass by it as they drive through the roundabout and comment that it seems to be slow getting started.
Good luck to the remaining staff. Hopefully someone will start a new thread. We need it in this town.