FishbowlDC has learned that the Washington City Paper has been acquired by the company that runs the Creative Loafing papers of Atlanta, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Tampa.
Erik Wemple sent out the following notice to the newsroom:
Hey fellows: Could you forward this to your freelancers?
Dear City Paper freelancers: As you may have heard by now, Washington City Paper has been acquired by the company that runs the Creative Loafing papers of Atlanta, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Tampa. We are pleased with this development and have had great discussions with our new owner, Ben Eason. The obvious question that people have been asking is, how does this affect the paper and what we’ve been doing for so long? There will no doubt be changes in how our product is generated, distributed, marketed, and so on. And our new owner will keep us on the path of editorial budget cuts that we embarked upon earlier this year. That is a simple fact of life in this industry. As to the impact on freelancers, I cannot say at this point precisely what it’ll be. Given how the Creative chain deals with production, we may see a rejiggering of editorial deadlines, but I can’t say for sure right now. And we have no plans to change pay for freelancers at this point, either. Also unchanged is our appreciation for all that you do for this paper, week in and week out. I will send out more information as it becomes available.
>UPDATE: Romenesko has some more here.
>UPDATE: A tipster writes in: “Editorial side says that as of right now, it won’t affect them, but the new owners do want to make some changes. They’ve been in meetings all day discussing it.”
>UPDATE: FishbowlDC hears that the deal could mean that the City Paper’s art direction is taken out of house (meaning that lots of production staff folks could be let go).
>UPDATE: From here, “Eason said there are no plans to change the name of City Paper.” One tipster tells FishbowlDC, “If it does, we’re jumping ship.”
>UPDATE: One tipster tells FishbowlDC that these jobs may likely be cut: Graphic designers – Ad traffic managers – web designers – prepress managers/coordinators – layout/mapping coordinators – marketing designers.