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D.C.’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer has released a statement on why the Washington Informer lost out on a city ad contract, which went to the Washington Times. According to the city, the Informer‘s argument that it could help the city reach black readers disqualified it as a “newspaper of general circulation.”
Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes filed a complaint last week, initially reported by the Washington Business Journal, alleging that the paper had been denied the contract because of its coverage of black Washingtonians.
According to the CFO’s office, the Informer‘s pitch for the contract described the paper as the “absolute best way to reach the African American Community.” This wasn’t much use to the CFO’s office, according to their statement, because they wanted the ad to be read by all Washingtonians.
“The purpose of publishing the unclaimed property listing is to reach as wide an audience as possible crossing all demographics, not simply target a specific one,” the CFO’s statement reads.
Rolark Barnes did not respond to a request for comment. While the Informer has won ad contracts from the city that involved multiple outlets in the past, the CFO’s office said in the statement that budget concerns meant only one paper could receive this contract.