Nashville Scene is an alternative newsweekly in Nashville, Tennessee. It was founded in 1989, became a part of Village Voice Media in 1999, and later joined the ranks of sixteen other publications after a merger of Village Voice Media with New Times Media early in 2006. In 2009 the paper was acquired by SouthComm Communications. The publication mainly reports and opines on music, arts, entertainment, and local and state politics in Nashville.
Nashville Scene began life as a shopper, a home-distributed advertising product. It was purchased on April 26, 1989, by advertising executive Albie Del Favero and Nashville Banner political reporter Bruce Dobie, who became its publisher and editor respectively. Their new product became Nashville's first successful alternative weekly, according to newspaper marketing materials.
The new owners modified the paper's circulation model, distributing it for free in racks at restaurants and other high-traffic locations, and modeled their editorial product after the Village Voice, the oldest alternative weekly in the United States.
"The dailies break the news, we put it back together," was one of the Nashville Scene's early marketing mantras, as it attempted to distinguish itself from other news sources with longer, more detailed features and commentaries on current topics, as well as some community activism that helped lead to the development of an area of Nashville labeled "SoBro" (south of Broadway), a term coined by the Scene's editorial staff.
Village Voice Media
In 1999, Del Favero and Dobie formed a group of investors and purchased Stern Publishing, then-owner of the Village Voice and five other alternative newsweeklies across the nation. They named the new corporation Village Voice Media. Village Voice publisher David Schneiderman, also one of the investors, became chief executive officer of the new venture.
In late 2004, both Del Favero  and Dobie resigned their positions as publisher and editor of the Scene. The editor role was taken on by the Scene's then-news editor Liz Garrigan. Chris Ferrell was hired by Village Voice Media to assume the role of publisher at the beginning of 2005.
On September 27, 2007, Ferrell announced his resignation as publisher of the Nashville Scene and, two weeks later, was replaced by long-time Scene retail sales account executive Mike Smith, who took the title of associate publisher in line with the post-merger title structuring of Village Voice Media.
On May 6, 2008, Garrigan announced her resignation as editor on the Nashville Scene blog Pith in the Wind. She characterized her departure as "anti-climactic" and "not a protest resignation, a corporate cost-cutting measure or a veiled firing." She added that she had imposed a five-year expiration date for herself as editor, and would be cutting that short because she felt she had accomplished what she set out to accomplish. Garrigan's last day as Scene editor was slated for June 30, 2008.
On June 20, 2008, Garrigan  announced her replacement, former Cleveland Scene editor Peter Kotz. Kotz was Cleveland Scene editor until the weekly was sold by Village Voice Media and merged with Cleveland Free Times in 2008.
On August 19, 2009, former Nashville Scene publisher Ferrell announced that his Nashville-based media company, SouthComm Communications, was acquiring Nashville Scene from Village Voice Media. SouthComm was formed in late 2007 and spent much of its first two years acquiring media properties in Alpharetta, Ga., Nashville, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky. Kotz was not retained as editor when the paper was purchased by SouthComm. Jim Ridley, who served as senior writer under Garrigan and managing editor under Kotz, was named editor. His tenure began with the September 3, 2009 issue.
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