Nashville Scene

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Nashville Scene
Nashville Scene front page.jpg
Type Alternative weekly
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) SouthComm Communications
Publisher Mike Smith
Editor Jim Ridley
Founded 1989
Headquarters 210 12th Ave. South, Ste. 100
Nashville, TN 37203
Circulation 48,000[1]

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.

Early history[edit]

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[edit]

In 1999, Del Favero and Dobie formed a group of investors[2] and purchased Stern Publishing,[3] then-owner of the Village Voice and five other alternative newsweeklies across the nation. They named the new corporation Village Voice Media.[4] Village Voice publisher David Schneiderman, also one of the investors, became chief executive officer of the new venture.

In late 2004, both Del Favero [5] and Dobie[6] 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.[7]

In January 2006, Village Voice Media was acquired by New Times Media and kept the Village Voice Media name.[8]

On September 27, 2007, Ferrell announced his resignation[9] as publisher of the Nashville Scene and, two weeks later, was replaced by long-time Scene retail sales account executive Mike Smith,[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

SouthComm Communications[edit]


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.[13] 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.[14] 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.

On May 7, 2015, news editor Steve Cavendish announced that Daryl Cagle would contribute a weekly cartoon called “Metropolitan Planning Commission Funnies," focusing on city planning issues like umbilical houses, downtown cranes, Music Row demolitions and pop-up subdivisions. [15] "Nashville is growing like a weed, and though officials talk about planning, they really just approve every stupid proposal." Cagle wrote on his blog. "I’ll try pushing the limits on how rude I can be to local public servants – hey, its an altie-weekly, I should be able to get nasty." [16]


  1. ^ "Nashville Scene". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Retrieved 2016-01-31. 
  2. ^ Fazzone, Amanda (1999-12-15). "Howe, Venture Firm Buy Stake in Nashville Scene". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  3. ^ Fazzone, Amanda (2000-01-06). "Stern Sold to Investor Group". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  4. ^ Pulle, Matt (2000-01-06). "A New Voice". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  5. ^ "Publisher Del Favero to Leave Nashville Scene". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. 2004-07-15. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  6. ^ Fox, David A. (2004-11-03). "Editor Bruce Dobie to leave the 'Scene'". Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  7. ^ "Nashville Scene Hire Is the Latest Politico Alt-Weekly Publisher". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. 2004-12-02. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  8. ^ "Village Voice Media and New Times to Merge". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. 2005-10-24. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  9. ^ "Ferrell, Thanks for the Living Wages". Nashville Scene's Pith in the Wind. 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  10. ^ "Mike Smith to Replace Ferrell". Nashville Scene's Pith in the Wind. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  11. ^ "Editor's Note". Nashville Scene's Pith in the Wind. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  12. ^ "Scene Announces New Editor". Nashville Scene's Pith in the Wind. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  13. ^ "SouthComm buying Scene, Nfocus". 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  14. ^ "Latest News". SouthComm Communications. 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  15. ^ "Cagle's View". 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2015-05-07. 
  16. ^ "I’m an altie-weekly local cartoonist now". 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2015-05-07. 

External links[edit]