City Paper Bought by the Baltimore Sun

37-year-old alternative weekly to be led by former City Paper publisher.

By Ron Cassie. Posted on February 20, 2014


Photo courtesy of City Paper

The Baltimore Sun Media Group announced Thursday that it is purchasing the 37-year-old, alternative weekly City Paper.

Jennifer Marsh, a Baltimore Sun Media Group niche products director, was named City Paper's general manager. Previously, the City Paper noted, Marsh worked for more than 20 years at the alternative weekly, serving as publisher from 2011 to 2013 before leaving for the Baltimore Sun Media Group.

Distributed for free, the City Paper has a circulation of just over 50,000 a week, according to the Baltimore Sun, and receives about 200,000 monthly unique visitors via its Web and mobile apps.

The City Paper has often presented a differing editorial voice to Baltimore's mainstream daily, both in its reporting and opinion pieces. Timothy Ryan, publisher, president, and CEO of the Baltimore Sun Media Group, said that independent voice will be valued.

“This acquisition will allow us to build upon the existing success of the City Paper,” Ryan said in making the announcement. “We want the paper to remain a valued alternative, independent voice in Baltimore. That’s what made it attractive to us—it’s adding a unique population of readers to our overall audience.”

According to the City Paper, their Mount Vernon offices on Park Avenue operations will move to the Sun building on North Calvert Street in March.

In an email, CityPaper editor Evan Serpick, a former Baltimore magazine senior editor, said he's not sure what impact, if any, the paper's purchase by the Sun will have on editorial content.

"The truth is we really don't know exactly how it will play out, in terms of our editorial work," Serpick said. "We're just in the first hours of getting our heads around this."

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