The Bay Guardian is shut down; E.W. Scripps lays off staff of its alt-weekly in Knoxville
Wednesday was a bad day for alt-weeklies as the Bay Guardian announced that it was shutting down following the publishing of its big Best of the Bay issue. The paper had been published for 48 years in San Francisco.
The alternative weekly tabloid had been founded in 1966 by Bruce Brugmann and his wife, Jean Dibble, and was for many years the most popular alt-weekly in the Bay Area. In 2008 that paper sued its rival over predatory pricing of advertising, eventually winning a major award. But only 5 years later the paper sold out to its rival.
Yesterday was not also not a good day for the 23 staffers of Metro Pulse in Knoxville, Tennessee. The paper, owned by E.W. Scripps, which also owns the metro paper, the Knoxville News Sentinel, laid off all of the staff. Scripps had acquired the paper in 2007, along with Knoxville Magazine, which it closed in late 2011.
The layoffs come as Scripps is about to merge its newspapers with those of Journal Communications, with that company then sending over its broadcast properties to Scripps. Laid off staff members of Metro Pulse were, according to a report from WBIR.com, warned not to talk to the media about either the layoffs or the merger or risk endangering their severance packages.
“Like other businesses, though, the News Sentinel must adapt to the changing business environment. Despite this difficult step, we remain committed to being the authoritative source of information about things to do in and around Knoxville and are excited about the possibilities for our combined product,” News Sentinel publisher Patrick Birmingham said in a statement.
The metro paper plans to replace the alt-weekly with its own Knoxville.com, the paper’s Friday entertainment section.