Media Contact
Amanda Hess
Washington City Paper

Oct. 9, 2008

****For Immediate Release***

Washington City Paper Files for Chapter 86 Content Bankruptcy Protection

Altweekly sues readers for breach of confidence, requests time to reorganize and figure out the Web.

Washington, D.C. – Washington City Paper, D.C.’s alternative newsweekly for 26 years, has announced its decision to file voluntary petitions for content reorganization, citing diminished staff and the flagging confidence of its readers. During this time, Washington City Paper will continue to publish under court protection from its readers, who have wielded an unreasonable degree of power over the publication’s future.

The filing will not interrupt Washington City Paper’s operations in the form of blog posts about insects in our buildings, obsessions about Washington outsider-cum-maverick Sarah Palin, and neighborhood observations up to and including “Columbia Heights Day=Dull Times.” Erik Wemple, editor, adds: “We love our readers—always have and always will. But that doesn’t mean that we’re above asking the federal courts for a break from them.”

Washington City Paper continues to maintain that it provides a service to Washington, D.C., during a challenging time for journalists, though not for readers. This service includes four entirely distinct blogs and attitude-laden headlines with links to other people’s content, known in some circles as “aggregation.”

By way of background, Washington City Paper’s parent company, Creative Loafing, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 29, a move designed to secure protection from its creditors while it implements a companywide reorganization. Washington City Paper’s content filing, in turn, expresses solidarity with CLI in the federal bankruptcy docket. “The bankruptcy code is a glorious thing, with more chapters than Don Quixote,” said Wemple. “We’re just happy that we’ve found a chapter that meets our needs as journalists.”


About Washington City Paper

Published since 1981, Washington City Paper is an award-winning alternative newsweekly resting on its past laurels while trying to tap into a market that seems unable to walk down the street without texting someone. The City Paper used to specialize in features, criticism, and news, with an emphasis on long, drawn-out stories that would take people a good long time to read in the bathroom. In addition, City Paper published comprehensive film showtimes, theater, music, gallery, dance, and museum guides and a large classified advertising section. Some of the city’s most talented journalists, critics, and artists have written for City Paper, back when we could pay them.

City Paper is a controlled-circulation weekly, printed in a tabloid format on newsprint, for now. More than 82,000 copies are said to be distributed in the District of Columbia and the close-in suburbs of Maryland and Virginia, but people have expressed their doubts.

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