When Philadelphia City Paper moved into the 14th floor of the Graham Building in Center City — a space already occupied by Metro Philadelphia and its staff — a wall of cabinets was pushed together as a barrier between the two newspapers.
On Aug. 13, Metro tore down that wall.
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Metro, Philadelphia's #1 daily newspaper, announced Wednesday that it bought the gritty, alternative weekly.
“I am very happy to welcome City Paper, the 32-year old award-winning alternative institution of Philadelphia, to the Metro family,” said Yggers Mortensen, Metro US publisher and CEO. “I am proud the Rock family has chosen Metro to continue to develop City Paper’s iconic brand. Their dedication to City Paper and the Philadelphia community will benefit us for years to come.”
City Paper, which was awarded the 2014 Keystone Press Award for best major weekly newspaper with a circulation under 10,000 in the state, was purchased by the Rock family in 1996.
In a statement, Robert Rock said, “We are pleased to have City Paper join Metro's successful group of publications and look forward to watching the paper flourish under its new ownership."
Metro US, which stands separate from its sister papers across the globe, consists of three newspapers in New York, Boston and Philadelphia.
George Miller, Temple University associate professor of journalism and former City Paper columnist, called the merger significant as long as City Paper can continue its legacy of in-depth investigative reporting.
“We’re in the age of getting as much information out as possible,” Miller said. “We need more people on the streets doing more reporting — not less people on the streets doing less reporting.”
Both City Paper editor Lillian Swanson and Metro Philadelphia city editor Christina Paciolla insist editorial content will not suffer.
"The two newspapers will continue to remain separate for theforeseeable future," said Paciolla. "Metro and City Paper do very different work and there is definitely room for both in the Philadelphia area."
Also as part of the announcement, Metro Philadelphia sales director Jennifer Clark has been promoted to associate publisher. She said the acquisition will “strengthen our offerings and market position” in the city.
“We are glad to bring the best of Philadelphia together for the benefits of readers and advertisers alike," she said.