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Standard Print Advertising

Other Advertising Options


About City Paper

Published since 1981, Washington City Paper is a general-interest publication and an online destination for local urban explorers. It specializes in features rather than news, with an emphasis on urban issues and politics, arts and entertainment, restaurants, and the peculiar pros and cons of city life. In addition, City Paper publishes comprehensive film, theater, music, gallery, dance, and museum guides and a large classified advertising section. It is well-known as a showcase for some of the city’s most talented journalists, critics, and artists.

City Paper is a controlled-circulation weekly, printed in a tabloid format on newsprint. More than 90,000 copies are distributed in the District of Columbia and the close-in suburbs of Maryland and Virginia.

Washingtoncitypaper.com is well-known for its traditional housing and employment classifieds, its less traditional Crafty Bastards™ arts-and-crafts classifieds, and its searchable entertainment listings. Also popular is the nationally recognized food column Young & Hungry, which is paired with Restaurant Finder, a searchable database populated with ratings and reports from readers. In addition, the Matches personals site combines the most innovative features of national personals sites with a purely local perspective. Washingtoncitypaper.com also includes the
well-used online-only music destination “InDC.”

Publication Dates

Washington City Paper is published every Friday of the year. A Fall Arts Guide is published in September. Distribution
begins Thursday morning and is completed by early Friday.

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The preferred deadline for the receipt of all advertising materials is Friday, seven days before publication. However, materials and space reservations will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, week of publication. When space has been reserved and paid for in advance, camera-ready materials will be accepted until noon Monday, week of publication. For advertisers wishing to approve a proof, the deadline is Friday, seven
days before publication.

Holidays that are celebrated on weekdays generally cause the deadlines for
the issue published that same week to be advanced one business day.

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Position and Color

PositionBack page, inside front cover, page 5, center spread and fractional ads located on “News of the Weird” and “Savage Love” are sold (when available) for a $225 net premium. Position charges are not commissionable and no frequency discounts apply.

With the exception of the premium positions outlined above, Washington
City Paper
does not guarantee the position of any advertisement within the paper. Position instructions are considered on a request basis only.

ColorColor is now available on every page at competitive prices. Please contact us for our new color rate card.

A color proof is required for all color ads.

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Advertising Specifications

  • Washington City Paper can design and prepare display advertisements at client’s request.
  • All press-ready ads should be submitted as Adobe Acrobat .pdf files built to Washington City Paper specs. Native files (Quark or InDesign documents, with fonts and images) are not accepted. Photo format files (.tif, .jpg, .eps) may be submitted, but we do not guarantee their print quality.
  • Please note that final printed dimensions of all advertisements are 5 percent smaller than the sizes listed. Do not submit ads based on measurements taken from a City Paper page; they will be too small. If an ad is submitted at an incorrect size, we will shrink/enlarge the ad to fit.
  • Ads smaller than a full page never run without a border. A minimum hairline border (.5 pt) is required on all four sides. Ads submitted without a border will have one added.
  • Resolution for images used in ad creation (.eps or .tif files are best):Grayscale halftone & CMYK images: 300 dpiLine art (such as type): 600 dpiImages taken from Web sites: not accepted.
  • Ink will spread more on porous newsprint stock than on regular laser paper, causing a change to the contrast of the ad. We recommend using the setting “dot gain 30%” when doing image corrections to account for this. Screens over 80 percent may reproduce as black.
  • Linescreen is 100. Total ink coverage should not exceed 240 percent.
  • All fonts must be embedded. For fonts that are not embedded, we reserve the right to replace those fonts with those we have in-house.
  • Reverse type on color ads should not be any smaller than 10 pt. size to ensure legibilty.

Color Issues

  • Color ads must be submitted as CMYK only (unless a specific spot color has been purchased—then only the spot color and black should appear in the final file). CMYK ads submitted with RGB or spot colors will be converted to CMYK.
  • Black-and-white ads must be submitted as black-and-white or grayscale. “Rich blacks” (black composed of C, M, Y, and K) will be converted to grayscale.
  • Ads that must be converted may cause slight color shifts. City Paper is not responsible for color shifts due to incorrect submission, and such shifts will not be grounds for a makegood.

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Classified Ads

Commercial classifieds cost as little as $20.00 for 35 words or less, plus $1.00 for each additional word. Prepayment by check, cash, MasterCard, VISA, Discover, or American Express is required. All classified ads are posted on our web site. For more information, see classifieds and click “help” at the bottom of the page.

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Web Advertising

Washingtoncitypaper.com accepts a variety of Web sizes and targeted positions. More information is available on this page.

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A maximum of two pre-printed inserts is accepted per week. Call to request quotations based upon the insertion’s size and shape.

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EZ Ads

For advertisers who can benefit from being in every issue, but who do not require large space or frequent copy changes, EZ ads are an excellent value. EZ ads are 2.3125″ wide by 1.666″ high and run for eight consecutive weeks. The entire eight-week schedule costs $800 ($100 each) payable in full in advance.

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Liability and Content Policies

Advertiser shall assume full responsibility and liability for all content (including pictorial representations and graphic artwork) of advertisements placed by advertiser in Washington City Paper and shall assume full responsibility for any claims arising therefrom made against City Paper, its officers, agents, and employees.

Advertiser hereby agrees to indemnify and hold City Paper harmless from any and all expenses or losses, including, but not limited to, attorneys’ fees and legal judgments, incurred or suffered by City Paper by reason of any and all claims arising out of the publication of any advertisement placed by advertiser.

Advertisers offering adult services (such as telephone talk lines) are subject to special rules and restrictions regarding content, deadlines, payment, price, and size that are not included in this rate card. This information is available on request.

Publisher reserves the right to approve all copy.

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For more information, please contact our office and ask for Display Advertising.


2390 Champlain St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-2100
Fax: (202) 332-8500
E-mail: ads@washingtoncitypaper.com