Man Bites Dog…Website Buys Magazine

Man bites dog…hyperlocal Web-only alternative newspaper buys print magazine.

Going completely against the grain in the media world, the Jersey City Independent acquired four-year-old arts, culture and lifestyle magazine NEW, which publishes twice annually and also covers Jersey City, N.J.

Jersey City Independent co-founder and editor Jon Whiten has served as managing editor at NEW since 2007.

Terms of the deal, which was finalized earlier this month, were not disclosed. The first issue of NEW under its new owners will be published in April.

Whiten said:

When (NEW founder) Amanda (Amanda Assadi-Rullow) approached us about purchasing NEW, I knew that we had a great opportunity to build on the success of our online work with a print product. The magazine will enable us to explore the arts and culture scene in Jersey City more fully while we continue to cover that scene—plus local news and politics—on the Web.

We’re not looking to go back to square one here. We want to build on the solid foundation the magazine already stands on and continue to invest in the best writing, photography and design we can put out there.

Independent publisher and co-owner Shane Smith added:

We’re an independent, locally owned, forward-thinking alternative to the publications that are out there, and so is NEW. In a fairly small media market, it made a lot of sense for us to join forces.

People love to say that print is dead, but we know that we’ll be able to connect with a whole new audience with a print publication in a way that complements what we offer on the Web. That furthers our mission of providing the community with an alternative to the local daily, and it’s great for our bottom line.

And Assadi-Rullow said:

This is a completely natural progression, as well as a necessary transition that will ensure outstanding journalism. I have always wanted NEW to be an independent, refreshing voice for our community, and this move will only enhance that effort.