The Lifespan of An Alternative Weekly


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April 13, 1988The first issue of New York Press appears. Russ Smith, formerly of the Baltimore City Paper, is the Press' first editor and part owner. The offices of the Press are located at 530 Broadway at Spring Street. September 30, 1988First "Best of Manhattan" edition is published. Includes "Best 24-Hour Copy Shop" ("At 3 o'clock in the morning we like to watch acid-addled Axl Rose wannabees try to spell the names of their bands on flyers"), "Best Buy for 50 cents" (The Wall Street Journal), "Best Short Circuit of Political Career" (Al Gore & Ed Koch) and "Best Place to be Treated Like Shit" (The Corner Bistro). January 6, 1989Phyllis Orrick moves to New York from Baltimore to become associate editor of the Press. August 1989The Press moves into the former offices of Spy magazine in the Puck Building at Houston and Lafayette streets. In its Aug. 25 issue, the Press publishes "PUCK: A History of a House of Mirth, Home of America's First Humor Magazine" by Phyllis Orrick. April 1990John Strausbaugh moves from Baltimore and becomes associate editor. September 1990Sam Sifton does not move to New York from Baltimore, but he is nevertheless hired as restaurant reviewer. 1991M. Doughty, later of the band Soul Coughing, begins writing music reviews,along with J.R. Taylor. Doughty later publishes pieces under the pseudonym "Dirty Sanchez." 1992Sam Sifton joins the Press staff as a full-time writer. 1993Jim Knipfel's"Slackjaw" column first appears. Soon afterward, he is hired as the Press' receptionist. 1993 William Monahan, a 33-yearold writer and former musician, begins publishing essays and restaurant reviews. He left in 1995 and later won the Academy Award for his screenplay adaptation of The Departed. 1995Jonathan Ames begins a first-person column in the Press; his columns later appear in successful collections published by Scribner. February 1996Village Voice, previously$1.25 per issue, begins free distribution.May 1996Amy Sohn's first story, "Blow-Up Boyfriend," appears in late May 1996 in a section called "First Person." By June 1996 she has been given a weekly sex column called "Female Trouble." January 1997John Strausbaugh discovers the work of Stuyvesant High School student Ned Vizzini and gives him a column while still in school. Vizzini has since published two novels. May 1997Armond White is hired as film critic for the paper. His first reviews are of Gregg Araki's Nowhere and Luc Besson's The Fifth Element. He calls Besson "le hack Franais" and says he is "often mistaken as a French Spielberg." 1997 ? The Press moves to 333 7th Ave., also the home of a Board of Education "rubber room," across from Mustang Sally's. 1998Sam Sifton leaves the paper, hired by Tina Brown to join Talk magazine. He later joins The New York Times, where he now serves as restaurant critic. August 1999Amy Sohn leaves to join New York magazine as its sex columnist. 2002Russ Smith sells the Press to Avalon Equity Partners, which also publishes The New York Blade. John Strausbaugh leaves the paper to become a full-time author; managing editor Lisa Kearns is promoted to editor-in-chief for a full two weeks, before she quits. 2002 Armond White, continuing his vocal support for struggling movie director Steven Spielberg, chooses A.I. as one of the 10 best movies of all time. 2003Jeff Koyen, former Press production editor, is named editor in chief. 2003 After serving as the sports editor of The Moscow Times and creating the Buffalo-based magazine The Beast, Matt Taibbi begins writing a regular political column for the Press. March 2003 First "50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers" edition published. 2003 Avalon launches New York Sports Express, which folds the following year. March 2005Matt Taibbi publishes a cover story, "The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope," that causes politicians to rail against the Press and drives advertisers away. Shortly afterward, editor Koyen quits after a suspension; Taibbi follows him out the door and joins Rolling Stone as a contributing editor. April 2005Alexander Zaitchik, Koyen's deputy, is named editor in chief. August 2005Zaitchik quits the Press and moves to Moscow. Harry Siegel, a conservative former editorial writer at The New York Sun, is named editor in chief on the recommendation of former editor Russ Smith. Siegel hires sports writer Tim Marchman, and political reporter Azi Paybarah. February 7, 2006Siegel and three other editors resign over thwarted plans to reprint controversial Mohammed cartoons from a Danish newspaper. April 2006Adario Strange is named editor. He worked previously as editor of The Source. June 2006Strange fires Jim Knipfel after 13 years at the Press. He hires former mayor Ed Koch as columnist and launches "Hype Stalker" column. April 2007Strange leaves the Press to resume his filmmaking career. Jerry Portwood, the Press' arts editor, is named interim editor in chief. August 2007Manhattan Media, owner of West Side Spirit, Avenue, New York Family and other publications, buys the Press. President Tom Allon immediately eliminates sex advertising. The Press moves east to 79 Madison Ave. at 28th Street, across from a Dunkin' Donuts and the Carlton Hotel. September 2007David Blum is named editor in chief; Jerry Portwood is named managing editor. June 2008David Blum leaves the Press. Managing editor Jerry Portwood is named editor in chief; Adam Rathe joins the Press as arts and entertainment editor. December 23, 2008Our first "Naughty and Nice" issue, featuring transsexual porn star Allanah Starr on the cover. Subsequent stars to submit to the cover treatment included Yoko Ono and dive bar titan Tracy Westmoreland. July 2009Jamie Peck's "What Sank The Shank" article published, apathetic youth of Kings County muster angry shrug, ferocious blog attacks. We feel noticed. Jan. 2010Our "Flesh Mob" cover story irritates Moby, who has his people send over his book on veganism. June 2010Armond White's negative review of Toy Story 3?one of exactly two?incites a near-riot across the Internet, including a call for aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes to stop using White's reviews as part of their ranking system. August 23, 2010Frankie Rose causes mass online hysteria with her partially visible nipple on our cover. January 2011Performance artist Ann Liv Young attacks our own Gerry Visco at a Lower East Side performance space. Warrior-like Visco dispatches the upstart without (further) smearing her makeup, despite a blow to the head. July 2011Adam Rathe and Jerry Portwood leave within a week of each other; copy editor Mark Peikert steps in as managing editor. August 24, 2011New York Press' final issue hits newsstands.



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