Washington City Paper
|Headquarters||734 15th St. NW, Suite 400|
Washington, D.C., U.S. 20005
|Circulation||68,059 weekly in 2011|
The Washington City Paper is a U.S. alternative weekly newspaper serving the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The City Paper is distributed on Thursdays; its average circulation in 2006 was 85,588. The paper's editorial mix is focused on local news and arts. Its 2018 circulation figure was 47,000.
The Washington City Paper was started in 1981 by Russ Smith and Alan Hirsch, the owners of the Baltimore City Paper. For its first year it was called 1981. The name was changed to City Paper in January 1982 and in December 1982 Smith and Hirsch sold 80% of it to Chicago Reader, Inc. In 1988, Chicago Reader, Inc. acquired the remaining 20% interest. In July 2007 both the Washington City Paper and the Chicago Reader were sold to the Tampa-based Creative Loafing chain. In 2012, Creative Loafing Atlanta and the Washington City Paper were sold to SouthComm Communications.
Amy Austin, the longtime general manager, was promoted to publisher in 2003. Michael Schaffer was named editor in April, 2010, two months after Erik Wemple resigned to run the new local startup TBD.
On December 21, 2017, it was announced that D.C.-area venture capitalist and philanthropist Mark Ein would buy the City Paper. He became the first D.C.-based owner in the paper's history. Ein announced the creation of two groups to ensure the paper's long-term success: "Alumni Group" and "Friends of Washington City Paper."
In 2011, Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, filed a lawsuit against the City Paper for a cover story that portrayed him in a negative light. He and the Simon Wiesenthal Center claimed that the story used anti-Semitic tropes. Prominent sports journalists, Jewish groups, and Jewish writers published sharp criticism of Snyder and the Simon Wiesenthal Center's claims of anti-Semitism, referring in various opinion pieces and public statements to their statements as, “breathtakingly dumb allegation”, “almost unbearably stupid”, and “so self-evidently lacking in merit”.
The Washington City paper issued its own response in a published editorial, saying, "But we at City Paper take accusations of anti-Semitism seriously—in part because many of us are Jewish, including staffers who edited the story and designed the cover. So let us know, Mr. Snyder, when you want to fight the real anti-Semites."
In response, hundreds of loyal readers donated over $30,000 to a legal defense fund.
The lawsuit was dropped 7 months later, after Amy Austin, the publisher, wrote in a subsequent article that an aspect of the story about Snyder was not meant to be construed as literally true.
Regular City Paper features include:
- a cover feature, 2,500 to 12,000 words in length
- an arts feature, 1,200 to 2,000 words in length
- The District Line, a section of shorter news features about D.C.
- Loose Lips, a news column and blog devoted to D.C. local politics
- Young & Hungry, a food column and blog
- Housing Complex, a real estate column and blog
- Music, theater, film, gallery, and book reviews by various writers
- City Lights, a section comprising critics' events picks.
Also published is one syndicated feature:
Notable former staffers
- David Carr – Former staff writer, The New York Times; author, The Night of the Gun
- Jake Tapper – Chief Washington correspondent, CNN
- Ta-Nehisi Coates – National correspondent, The Atlantic; author, Between the World and Me; MacArthur "Genius" grant recipient
- Katherine Boo – Author, Behind the Beautiful Forevers; MacArthur "Genius" grant recipient
- Erik Wemple – Media critic, The Washington Post
- Jack Shafer – Senior media writer, Politico; former columnist, Reuters; former columnist, Slate
- Amanda Hess – Staff writer, The New York Times; former staff writer, Slate
- Dave McKenna – Staff writer, Deadspin
- David Plotz – CEO, Atlas Obscura; co-host, Slate Political Gabfest; former staff writer, Slate
- Jelani Cobb – Staff writer, The New Yorker
- Clara Jeffery – Editor-in-chief, Mother Jones
- Kara Swisher – Co-founder, Recode
- Jason Cherkis – Reporter, HuffPost
- Neil Drumming – Producer, This American Life
- Amanda Ripley – Journalist and author
- Michael Schaffer – Editor, Washingtonian
- Brett Anderson – Contributing writer, The New York Times; former restaurant critic, The Times-Picayune
- Tom Scocca – Deputy executive editor, Special Projects Desk, Gizmodo Media Group
- Christina Cauterucci – Staff writer, Slate
- Lydia DePillis – Economics reporter, CNNMoney; former economics reporter, Houston Chronicle; former business reporter, The Washington Post
- Jonathan Fischer – Senior editor, Slate
- Josh Levin – Executive editor, Slate
- Jessica Sidman – Food editor, Washingtonian
- Mike DeBonis - Reporter, The Washington Post
- Alan Suderman, Virginia statehouse reporter, Associated Press
- Will Sommer - Reporter, The Daily Beast
- Shani Hilton – Deputy Managing Editor, Los Angeles Times
- "Annual Audit Report, December 2011". Larkspur, Calif.: Verified Audit Circulation. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- Lowman, Stephen (August 9, 2009). "City Talk: The key players of Washington's influential and controversial weekly paper look back on its legacy". Washington Post. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- Celeste, Eric (2012-07-03). "Nashville-based media company SouthComm acquires Creative Loafing Atlanta and Washington City Paper". Clatl.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Shott, Chris (2010-04-27). "Michael Schaffer is New Editor of Washington City Paper". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Mills, Alexa (21 December 2017). "Long Live City Paper". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- Shapiro, Ari (22 December 2017). "'Washington City Paper' Will Continue To Offer Local News With New Owner". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- Beaujon, Andrew (2017-12-21). "Mark Ein Buys Washington City Paper". Washingtonian. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- McKenna, Dave (2010-11-19). "The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Schaffer, Michael (2011-02-02). "Snyder Sues". Washington City Paper. Michael Schaffer. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- Kaminer, Michael. "NFL Owner Enlists Wiesenthal Center After Being Ridiculed". The Forward. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
- Courtland, Milloy (February 6, 2011). "Snyder's devil is in the details - and a name". Washington Post.
- "Wiesenthal Center Out-of-Bounds on Snyder". Tablet Magazine. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
- Goldberg, Jeffrey (2011-02-03). "Oh, Cut the Crap, Simon Wiesenthal Center!". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
- Carr, David (2011-02-06). "Dan Snyder's Odd Case Against Washington City Paper". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
- "On the Matter of Dan Snyder's Horns". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2019-11-12.
- Ember, Sydney (3 July 2011). "Readers Rally Around Washington City Paper". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- Redskins owner Dan Snyder drops lawsuit against Washington City Paper
- Sommer, Will. "Loose Lips - All About D.C. Politics". Washingtoncitypaper.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Pipkin, Whitney. "Young & Hungry - D.C. Restaurants and Food". Washingtoncitypaper.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Wiener, Aaron. "Housing Complex - D.C. Real Estate, Development, and Urbanism". Washingtoncitypaper.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Lefrak, Mikaela. "The David Carr Generation". The Atlantic. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Coates, Ta-Nehisi (19 February 2015). "In Memory of David Carr, Who Made Me a Journalist". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- Dixon, Glenn. "The Paper Where Ta-Nehisi Coates Learned the Ropes". The New Republic. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "The 60-second interview: Erik Wemple, Washington Post media critic". Politico. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Mullin, Benjamin. "Press critic Jack Shafer to join Politico". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Amanda Hess to be Keynote Speaker at Raliance Media Summit". Poynter. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Lynch, Matthew. "Deadspin hires Dave McKenna for the ESPN beat". Politico. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Food's New Contributing Writer". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- Scocca, Tom. "Washington NFL Owner Daniel Snyder Finds Another Embarrassing, No-Win Project to Spend His Money On". Slate. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Who We Are". Slate. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Roush, Chris. "Houston Chronicle econ reporter DePillis leaves for CNNMoney". Talking Biz News. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Beaujon, Andrew (2017-06-02). "Three Ideas for Saving Washington City Paper*". Washingtonian. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- "Mike DeBonis joins congressional team". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "AP hires Alan Suderman as Va. statehouse reporter". Associated Press. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- Roush, Chris. "Daily Beast hires Sommer to cover tech and digital culture". Talking Biz News. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "Los Angeles Times Names Shani Hilton Deputy Managing Editor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 April 2019.