SouthComm CEO Chris Ferrell announced to an assembled staff this morning that the Aug. 9 issue of The City Paper will be its last.
"After years of being subsidized by our investors and other Southcomm publications, we finally determined that there was not enough advertiser support for the free newsweekly model we were trying to sustain. The model proved very popular with readers, but in publishing the revenue doesn't necessarily follow the readership."
Ferrell said that the tough climate for advertising dollars made having multiple news properties extremely difficult, particularly a general interest publication like The City Paper. A portion of the staff will be laid off while others will be redeployed to other SouthComm publications.
"Going forward we will be merging some of our editorial resources into our profitable publications in Nashville in an effort to make them even stronger," Ferrell said. "You will see some of the names you have grown familiar with in The City Paper in the masthead of the Nashville Scene and Nashville Post. Both publications will expand their news coverage to fill the gap left by the closing of The City Paper. David Boclair will continue his coverage of Nashville sports, for example."
City Paper Editor Steve Cavendish expressed pride in the paper's performance.
"I cannot say enough about the job this staff has done in covering Nashville," he said. "We punched above our weight, told a lot of interesting stories, and held officials and institutions accountable. This city is a better place when you have more professional journalists covering it and I'm sorry we won't continue as a publication."