Now that Editor & Publisher has folded somebody has to take up the slack. Don’t worry, it will not be I, except for this one time. I was sent this press release from the dudes at the Jersey City Independent. They’ve been actually quite nice to me and Dislocations. We’ve only communicated via Email, but they were linking to my blog early on—I didn’t even know how they found it—in other words, directing people to some of my esoteric Jersey City coverage. I didn’t expect that at all, and it turned out to be a pretty cool thing. I am actually getting readers I haven’t met. In turn, the website is worth checking out on a daily basis, since it alerts you to Jersey City occurrences and events and even news sometimes. Since my day job still deals with print publishing, all I can say, more power to them, since it’s a tough row to hoe. Let’s just say, Earth Fares better in 2012 than print publishing does in today’s marketplace. I’m sure this acquisition though will improve our local media, because let’s face it, can you imagine it getting any worse!
The press release un-edited
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDec. 11, 2009
Bucking the trend of media contraction, the Jersey City Independent is expanding into print after just one year of publishing a hyperlocal web-only alternative newspaper. The Independent has acquired NEW magazine, a four-year-old arts, culture and lifestyle magazine that covers Jersey City.
NEW, which comes out twice a year, was founded in November 2005 by Amanda Assadi-Rullow; in 2007 she decided she wanted to expand the magazine and offer a stronger editorial presence. For that, she turned to Jon Whiten, the Independent’s co-founder and current editor. He has been NEW’s managing editor ever since.
“When Amanda approached us about purchasing NEW, I knew that we had a great opportunity to build on the success of our online work with a print product,” Whiten says. “The magazine will enable us to explore the arts and culture scene in Jersey City more fully while we continue to cover that scene — plus local news and politics — on the web.”
Shane Smith, the Independent’s publisher and co-owner, says the decision to purchase NEW was a no-brainer.
“We’re an independent, locally-owned, forward-thinking alternative to the publications that are out there, and so is NEW,” he says. “In a fairly small media market, it made a lot of sense for us to join forces.”
Assadi-Rullow says that while she’ll be sad to let the magazine she founded go, she is happy that it found a good home.
“This is a completely natural progression, as well as a necessary transition that will ensure outstanding journalism,” she says. “I have always wanted NEW to be an independent, refreshing voice for our community and this move will only enhance that effort.”
And Assadi-Rullow isn’t leaving the magazine completely behind either. She will continue to lend her design skills and sharp eye to NEW as its creative director. Meanwhile, the Independent’s current team of writers and editors — many of whom have written for NEW in the past — will keep producing content for the magazine, ensuring a virtually seamless transition for NEW’s 40,000-plus readers.
“We’re not looking to go back to square one here,” Whiten says. “We want to build on the solid foundation the magazine already stands on, and continue to invest in the best writing, photography and design we can put out there.”
Smith says that despite the web evangelism being preached in the media world, physical magazines still offer a unique experience that’s not going away.
“People love to say that print is dead, but we know that we’ll be able to connect with a whole new audience with a print publication, in a way that complements what we offer on the web,” Smith says. “That furthers our mission of providing the community with an alternative to the local daily, and it’s great for our bottom line.”
Terms of the deal, finalized earlier this month, were not disclosed. The first issue of NEW under its new owners is due to hit the streets and stores of Jersey City in April.
ABOUT The Jersey City Independent
The Jersey City Independent is the alternative source for news and culture in Jersey City. The website, which began publishing in Dec. 2008 and formally launched this March, has experienced tremendous growth as residents have come to rely on its comprehensive coverage of city government, local news and the arts+culture scene. The Independent not only covers the community, it is a part of it as well, as shown by its sponsorship of cultural offerings like JC Fridays, the 4th Street Arts & Music Festival and the Jersey City Book Festival.