Washington City Paper
Oct. 9, 2008
****For Immediate Release***
Washington City Paper Files for Chapter 86 Content Bankruptcy Protection
Altweekly sues readers for breach of confidence, requests time to reorganize and figure out the Web.
Washington, D.C. – Washington City Paper, D.C.’s alternative
newsweekly for 26 years, has announced its decision to file voluntary
petitions for content reorganization, citing diminished staff and the
flagging confidence of its readers. During this time, Washington City
Paper will continue to publish under court protection from its readers,
who have wielded an unreasonable degree of power over the publication’s
The filing will not interrupt Washington City Paper’s operations in the
form of blog posts about insects in our buildings, obsessions about
Washington outsider-cum-maverick Sarah Palin, and neighborhood
observations up to and including "Columbia Heights Day=Dull Times."
Erik Wemple, editor, adds: "We love our readers—always have and always
will. But that doesn’t mean that we’re above asking the federal courts
for a break from them.”
Washington City Paper continues to maintain that it provides a service
to Washington, D.C., during a challenging time for journalists, though
not for readers. This service includes four entirely distinct blogs and
attitude-laden headlines with links to other people’s content, known in
some circles as “aggregation.”
By way of background, Washington City Paper’s parent company, Creative
Loafing, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 29,
a move designed to secure protection from its creditors while it
implements a companywide reorganization. Washington City Paper’s
content filing, in turn, expresses solidarity with CLI in the federal
bankruptcy docket. “The bankruptcy code is a glorious thing, with more
chapters than Don Quixote,” said Wemple. “We’re just happy that we’ve
found a chapter that meets our needs as journalists.”
About Washington City Paper
Published since 1981, Washington City Paper is an award-winning
alternative newsweekly resting on its past laurels while trying to tap
into a market that seems unable to walk down the street without texting
someone. The City Paper used to specialize in features, criticism, and
news, with an emphasis on long, drawn-out stories that would take
people a good long time to read in the bathroom. In addition, City
Paper published comprehensive film showtimes, theater, music, gallery,
dance, and museum guides and a large classified advertising section.
Some of the city’s most talented journalists, critics, and artists have
written for City Paper, back when we could pay them.
City Paper is a controlled-circulation weekly, printed in a tabloid
format on newsprint, for now. More than 82,000 copies are said to be
distributed in the District of Columbia and the close-in suburbs of
Maryland and Virginia, but people have expressed their doubts.
For more information about Washington City Paper, please (please!) visit washingtoncitypaper.com.