After a 13-year struggle to turn a profit, the Nashville City Paper will soon cease operations with the publication of its Aug. 9 issue.
The CEO of parent company SouthComm made the announcement to newspaper employees Wednesday morning.
"It's a sad day, one we all hoped wouldn't come, but the City Paper has never been profitable," said Southcom CEO Chris Ferrell.
Ferrell said the City Paper had great readership, but that wasn't the problem.
"There's a lot less classified advertising today than there was five or six years ago, and that was always a major revenue stream for newspapers," he said.
Eight people will lose their jobs, including writers, editors, administration and advertising staff.
The rest of the employees will take jobs at the company's sister publications: the Nashville Scene and the Nashville Post.
City Paper readers say the news is a shame.
"I'm surprised," said reader Chris Pelcer. "That's a pity. I'm sorry that's happened."
"That's too bad, sorry to hear that," said reader Eileen Wollam.
Ken Paulson, former editor of USA TODAY and now Dean of Mass Communications at Middle Tennessee State University, said what is really happening is that free newspapers are simply going away.
"Americans have to decide whether they want to pay for journalism. And if they don't, a lot of news organizations will be out of business," Paulson said.
The City Paper has struggled under each of its three owners. It began as a daily, then by 2009, it was only publishing once a week.
The City Paper was free to read but not to produce.
"The truth is, it costs to do good journalism," Ferrell said.
The City Paper comes out on Fridays, so there will only be three more editions.
The Nashville Scene will continue to publish, and we're told it has more entertainment-oriented advertising and a specific niche audience.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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