Philadelphia City Paper will cease publication on Oct. 8 and be folded into Philly Weekly, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Broad Street Media LLC, which now owns City Paper’s name and assets, closed the paper to avoid running competing outlets.
The closure comes during a period of consolidation for alt-weeklies in cities across the United States that has claimed several publications in recent times. The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Boston Phoenix, The (Columbus, Ohio) Other Paper and The (Knoxville, Tennessee) Metro Pulse were all shuttered by their owners within the last four years.
Alt-weeklies like Philadelphia City Paper haven’t been immune from the decline in print revenue that has affected the news industry in general, said Rick Edmonds, Poynter’s media analyst. For many papers, those troubles have been compounded by an aging readership and a loss in specialized advertising revenue that has shifted to online.
The ranks of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, a membership organization for alt weeklies, has declined to 117 publications from its apex of 135 publications in 2009, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center. The ones that remain in business face declining circulation and a broader trend toward consolidation.