Creative Loafing's purchase of the Washington City Paper and the Chicago Reader last week drew some interesting — and sometimes emotional — comments on those two alt-weeklie's blogs and in national coverage. Here's a sample:
"Ye gods! Right when I'm on vacation from the paper for three weeks! Sure hope you're all there when I come back. (Hell, I hope I'm there when I come back . . .) Au revoir!"
—Jerome Ludwig, the Reader's "News Bites" blog
"From looking at the CL home page, it appears as if they brand themselves as a 'shelter from the mainstream.' Must everything be branded? Must all edges be smoothed? i guess we will just have to have faith and keep positive. it's good, talented people that made the Reader what it is today. ... and those same people (hopefully) that will keep it moving into the future. In Ben we trust."
—Hmmmmm, in "News Bites"
"Ambitious move by Creative Loafing"
—Headline on Forbes' online story about the sale
"Wow. City Paper is dead."
—Sad Day, in Washington's "City Desk" blog
"Well, as a former employee (and therefore blessedly immune from the all-seeing eye of the new Southern master), let me just say that this fucking blows. I grew up in the shadow of Creative Loafing just down State Highway 78 in Georgia, and it was always considered an inferior product by the intelligentsia but then in Atlanta the bar was never set very high. Eason seems to be under the mistaken, though admittedly hilarious, impression that what plays in Hotlanta and Raleigh and Tampa will play in precisely the same way here. What wanton hubris."
—Chip, in "Next Bites"
"Happy to see the staff is staying. ... but Creative Loafing is a wonderful paper. ... in all of their cities! I've been living in Atlanta for the past year and wouldn't survive without CL. I've also had a chance to meet some of the staff at events, and they honestly love and believe in what they do and the sense of community the paper brings. Don't worry, D.C."
—Elizabeth, in "City Desk"
"This could be good news for the Reader if the takeover/sellout leads to a sharpening up of the paper. Let's face it, aside from Ben's admirable TIF crusade, media goss from MM and the occasional lengthy investigative crime features, there's actually not that much worth reading in the Reader. Less alternative, more relevance will make a better paper."
—Ian, in "Next Bites"
"The Reader has been sold to an out-of-town chain, which ... whether anyone consciously intends it or not ... will inevitably lead to a loss of editorial independence. This is just one more example of a larger and more disturbing trend in this country: the concentration of media ownership into the hands of fewer and fewer owners."
—Saddened and Dismayed, in "Next Bites"
"The most appalling thing about the sale of the Reader is that the new ownership is based in Tampa Bay, FL. I mean, please. ... Tampa isn't even a city, at least in the way that word is usually understood. It's stucco and rivers of blue-hair dye."
—Chip, in "Next Bites"