The Life Span of an Alternative Weekly

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April 13, 1988 The 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, 1988 First "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).

01.jpgJanuary 6, 1989 Phyllis Orrick moves to New York from Baltimore to become associate editor of the Press.

August 1989 The 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 1990 John Strausbaugh moves from Baltimore and becomes associate editor.

September 1990 Sam Sifton does not move to New York from Baltimore, but he is nevertheless hired as restaurant reviewer.

1991 M. 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."

1992 Sam Sifton joins the Press staff as a full-time writer.

1993 Jim 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.

1995 Jonathan Ames begins a first-person column in the Press; his columns later appear in successful collections published by Scribner.

February 1996 Village Voice, previously$1.25 per issue, begins free distribution.

03.jpgMay 1996 Amy 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."

04.jpgJanuary 1997 John 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 1997 Armond 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.

1998 Sam 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 1999 Amy Sohn leaves to join New York magazine as its sex columnist.

2002 Russ 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.

2003 Jeff 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 2005 Matt 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 2005 Alexander Zaitchik, Koyen’s deputy, is named editor in chief.

Zaitchik 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

February 7, 2006
Siegel and three other editors resign over thwarted plans to reprint
controversial Mohammed cartoons from a Danish newspaper.

Strange is named editor. He worked previously as editor of The Source.

June 2006
Strange fires Jim Knipfel after 13 years at the Press. He
hires former mayor Ed Koch as columnist and launches "Hype Stalker"

Strange leaves the Press to resume his filmmaking career. Jerry
Portwood, the Press’ arts editor, is named interim editor in chief.

Manhattan 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 2007 David Blum is named editor in chief; Jerry Portwood is named managing editor.


June 2008
David Blum leaves the Press. Managing editor Jerry Portwood is named
editor in chief; Adam Rathe joins the Press as arts and entertainment

December 23, 2008 Our
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.

Jamie Peck’s "What Sank The Shank" article published, apathetic
youth of Kings County muster angry shrug, ferocious blog attacks. We
feel noticed.

Jan. 2010 Our "Flesh Mob" cover story irritates Moby, who has his people send over his book on veganism.

Armond 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.

06.jpgAugust 23, 2010 Frankie Rose causes mass online hysteria with her partially visible nipple on our cover.

Performance 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

July 2011 Adam Rathe and Jerry Portwood leave within a week of each other; copy editor Mark Peikert steps in as managing editor.

07.jpgAugust 24, 2011 New York Press’ final issue hits newsstands.