Baltimore's City Paper weekly is closing. No official end date has been announced.If you live in or around Baltimore, you've probably come across one of those bright yellow containers, labeled "CITY PAPER" in bold black ink, filled with fresh free newspapers every Wednesday. It turns out those containers will be emptied by the end of the year. City Paper, Baltimore's free alternative weekly newspaper, announced on Friday, July 7 that the Baltimore Sun Media Group intends on shutting down production later on in 2017. "No official end date has been announced for the alt-weekly, now in its 40th year," Brandon Weigel writes. Why? According to BSMG's director of marketing, Renee Mutchnik, the paper isn't making enough money. "Like many alternative weeklies across the country," she says in a statement, declining ad revenue at City Paper continues to be a challenge. "It became clear to us this past fall that we would cease publishing City Paper sometime in 2017."
Originally called "City Squeeze", the newspaper was founded in 1977 by two then-Johns Hopkins students: Russ Smith and Alan Hirsch. It was printed from Hopkins's student newspaper office until they moved their operation into an apartment with its new title: City Paper. The paper was (unofficially) modeled after the Chicago Reader, and was owned by Times-Shamrock Communications up until 2013, when the publication was bought by the Baltimore Sun. This announcement came as a shock to many readers, especially considering the newspaper is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, which you can experience in this stunning gallery spanning that time. City Paper's editor, Brandon Soderberg, has faith that the paper will be picked up by another publisher. "A city without a paper like City Paper is a lesser city," he writes. "Without us, you will have one less voice—one that's skeptical and analytical and out there actually...For now, again like on the Titanic, we plan on holding on and doing great work until the end, and I'd say to anyone out there who likes what we do and wants to keep it around: Buy us!"
What are your thoughts on the City Paper ending? Let us know in the comments below!