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Washington City Paper

Type Alternative weekly
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) SouthComm
Publisher Amy Austin
Editor Mike Madden
Founded 1981, as 1981
Headquarters 1400 Eye St. N.W., Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Circulation 68,059 weekly in 2011[1]

The Washington City Paper is a U.S. alternative weekly newspaper serving the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

It 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.[2] 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. The former Chicago Reader Inc., now named Quarterfold, still owns the building that houses Washington City Paper as well as minority stakes in other alternative newsweeklies.[3]

In 2012, Creative Loafing Atlanta and the Washington City Paper were sold to SouthComm.[4]

The City Paper is distributed on Thursdays; its average circulation in 2006 was 85,588. The paper's editorial mix is focused exclusively on local news and arts.

Michael Schaffer was named editor in April, 2010,[5] two months after Erik Wemple resigned to run the new local startup TBD. Amy Austin, the longtime general manager, was promoted to publisher in 2003.

The owner of the Washington Redskins Daniel Snyder filed a lawsuit against the City Paper for a cover story that portrayed him in a negative light.[6][7]


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, written by Will Sommer[8]
  • Dept. of Media, an irregular news column devoted to Washington-based media
  • Cheap Seats, a feature column devoted to sports in D.C., written by Dave McKenna
  • Young & Hungry, a food column and blog written by Jessica Sidman, and previously, Chris Shott[9]
  • Housing Complex, a real estate column and blog, written by Aaron Weiner[10]
  • Film reviews by Tricia Olszewski
  • Theater reviews by critics Trey Graham and Bob Mondello
  • Music and book reviews by various writers
  • City Lights, a section comprising critics' events picks.

Also published are a number of syndicated features:


  1. ^ "Annual Audit Report, December 2011". Larkspur, Calif.:  
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Miner, Michael (August 23, 2007). "The Suit Behind the Sale". Chicago Reader. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ Celeste, Eric (2012-07-03). "Nashville-based media company SouthComm acquires Creative Loafing Atlanta and Washington City Paper". Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  5. ^ Shott, Chris (2010-04-27). "Michael Schaffer is New Editor of Washington City Paper - City Desk". Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  6. ^ McKenna, Dave (2010-11-19). "The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Sommer, Will. "Loose Lips - All About D.C. Politics". Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  9. ^ Pipkin, Whitney. "Young & Hungry - D.C. Restaurants and Food". Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  10. ^ Wiener, Aaron. "Housing Complex - D.C. Real Estate, Development, and Urbanism". Retrieved 2014-04-13. 

External links

  • Washington City Paper
  • Ink Well Crosswords
  • Washington D.C. News
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