Friday, August 19th, 2011

52 Funny Things About the Death of the 'New York Press'

Back in the heady days of 2005, before Great Recessions and the Really Great Implosion of Print Media were well under way, New York Press writer Matt Taibbi published a piece titled “The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope.” It prompted then-Congressman Anthony Weiner to tell people to throw out the paper. It probably got the scrappy alternative newsweekly more national press than it ever expected—but it also certainly began the steady descent in advertising dollars that is the lifeblood for a free weekly.

Six years later, Weiner is disgraced and Taibbi is writing books about Wall Street misdeeds while holding down a gig at Rolling Stone. Things sure do change! And this week it was made official: The paper-that-would-not-quite-die has been taken off of life support and will go into some sort of coma. Here's how a group of former editors of and contributors to the often-hated rag will remember the little newspaper-of-ill-repute-that-could.

52. New York Press editors will have no outlet in which to run sex stories written under pseudonyms.

51. Ninety percent of Bushwick bands will have no forum to say a bunch of stupid shit and then get salty about it after publication.

50. Todd P gets 83% fewer Google Alerts about himself.

49. Luscious summer interns face reality of not being made aware of their desirability.

48. Sam Sifton now finally freed from pesky non-compete clause, can achieve his dream job.

47. Armond White no longer has a J. Hoberman-bashing platform (except the wooden one he built that time in shop class).

46. Future Park Slope dads will have nowhere to work during their glory days to remind Brooklyn children of how cool they used to be.

45. Adario Strange who?

44. Less street boxes = less places to find material for my new blog, "Cups of Pee."

43. To think, Russ Smith wanted to buy the Village Voice before New Times snapped it up. Moved to Baltimore and started a website instead.

42. To think Anthony Bourdain's first piece got bumped and went to the New Yorker. And the rest is history.

41. Wait, the New York Press didn't die years ago?

40. Where else will I go to find a massage from a Thai lady-boy?

39. The Village Voice is left as the sole free packing material for moving (and place to find Thai lady-boys).

38. Bums will have thousands of completely empty green boxes to store their blankets without complaint.

37. The innovative "stuff everything on one page with some stock art" design aesthetic may never recover.

36. The Mohammed comics can now be published by Our Town Downtown.

35. No more underpaid jobs for up-and-coming writers and editors who really just want to see bands for free.

34. Fionna Apple now best source of Jonathan-Ames-has-embarrassing-sex stories.

33. Transvestites can no longer be credible news sources for stories on LES haunts that closed down 32 years ago.

32. Recovering drug addicts must look farther than newspaper bedsheets to find outlet for unedited ramblings.

31. Publicists emailing pitches to New York Post have exponentially better chance of actually reaching it.

30. Nostalgic writing about when New York City was a great, cool, better place to live finally takes a dip.

29. Your newsclipping about the best pierogis in Greenpoint will mean a lot less to people.

28. Your award of Best Bathroom to Have Sex in matters a whole lot less.

27. Gerry Visco now most notable for being oldest living Confederate widow—and nothing more.

26. Mugger now only remembered as the person who wants your wallet.

25. LES burrito shops less likely to be seriously reviewed in 800-word pieces.

24. Without obsessive old-club-kids nightlife coverage, Susanne Bartsch turns into bat and flies out of New York City forever.

23. Transexual phone-sex advertising sales takes a serious look at itself in the mirror (blinks, wipes nose and looks closer).

22. Freelance writers citywide resort to can collecting in order to fund Pabst and weed habits.

21. Socially awkward writers of the city make last ditch effort to save paper, get distracted, complain about not getting paid on time, sleep with one another, start blogging for HuffPo.

20. Matt Harvey has nowhere but Tumblr to wax eloquent about his former heroin days.

19. Does this mean that Capital New York actually could work? Or the opposite?

18. Amy Sohn can now forget that embarrassing time in her life she wrote about. No, the earlier one.

17. Literally no place exists to write about punk or hardcore or other bands people loved when they were teenagers. Except Tumblr.

16. Blogs win!

15. Hundreds of New Yorkers will discover that Craigslist offers "massage artists" as well.

14. Last person who has stories about Harry Siegel's office desktop (and futon) encounters turns to dust.

13. Profanity and ass content of Manhattan Media publications reduced by 99.9 percent.

12. Susan Shapiro has to launch her own publication, titled “Sue’s News,” to publish all of her students’ first person humiliation essays.

11. One less publication title for minor journalist empires to trade amongst themselves to feel a little bit cooler and relevant for a brief period.

10. The quality of BrooklynVegan will improve from non-existent to pretty bad.

9. The trademark for the publication’s slightly-tilted P will return to its original holder: Master P.

8. The L Magazine is still publishing.

7. John Strausbaugh can stop telling everyone: “I told you so.”

6. Legions of Toy Story fans feel overwhelming sense of vindication. But I Hate Armond White fan clubs are left dispirited and leaderless.

5. Russ Smith no longer keeps movers on retainer, ready to swoop in to save the day for libertarians everywhere.

4. The circulation for New York Press will actually stay about the same, as will the page count.

3. No one has to reach as far: The media circle jerk just got that much smaller.

2. This should free up some of Tom Allon’s time to really take a serious stab at this mayor thing.

1. Answer to douchey question “New York Press, is that still around?” is now a simple: “No.”

This semi-fond reflection was organized by Jerry Portwood.

27 Comments / Post A Comment

El Matardillo (#586)

Where will the world's most famous cat photographer work now?

@El Matardillo : I only hope you're referring to this gentleman.

IBentMyWookie (#133)

NB: "Luscious" used in reference to anything other than produce or this band is as icky as "panties"

IBentMyWookie (#133)

@IBentMyWookie That should link to the wiki page for Luscious Jackson.

Matt (#26)

No it shouldn't.

IBentMyWookie (#133)

And while I'm fucking up the comments: FEWER streetboxes

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Thank you.

Jonny Diamond (#3,799)

I gotta say, so many, many years after that ridiculous boxing match (we won 3 of 4, drew the last), it's kind of satisfying to read this, from then-Press editor Koyen: "Though an unfortunate coincidence, that dreadful lil' L Magazine is distributed through boxes of the same size, shape and color as our new darling," Koyen wrote. He joked that The Press had already "put aside a few bucks to buy" The L's boxes "as soon as they run through their startup cash."

Though now I am old.

Matt (#26)

30. Nostalgic writing about when New York City was a great, cool, better place to live finally takes a dip.

Excuse me but, hi, welcome to the Internet.

HiredGoons (#603)

@Matt: Also, that circle-jerk will be just fine.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

It hurts because it's true.

NinetyNine (#98)

So it's okay to make fun of Amy Sohn again?

davidwatts (#72)

51. Sheltered freelance writers discover that not all editors enjoy 12 emails back and forth for one review of obscure Bushwick band.

52. Dozens of freelance writers forced to admit that they are simply unemployed.

53. Former New York Press writers not emailed by Jerry for this piece, even though he totally has their email address, now have one extra thing to be nervous and depressed about.

davidwatts (#72)

@davidwatts sorry I spilled your beer, Jerry!

davidwatts (#72)


54. Former New York Press freelancers revealed to not know what number comes after 52.

Didn't Taki– former Top Drawr editor — once offer $5 million to buy the NY Press from Russ Smith?

Jamie Peck (#7,309)

R.I.P., New York Press. I've always loved it for its scrappiness and focus on the hyper-local. It's also where I got my start as a writer-for-money (not much money! but some!) and for that I will always be super grateful.

C.Edwards (#25,092)

Ugh. Now whose office will I just arbitrarily swing by and hang out for no reason?

Danny Gold@twitter (#22,931)

RIP NY PRESS, I'll miss all the times I got to go to strange parties drink for free and talk to weirdos and then make fun of them in you.

GailPink (#9,712)

Excellent News! It couldn't happen to a more deserving rag! Yay!

Debussy Fields (#9,962)

This actually makes me regret having ignored the thing during its lifetime.

Sheila (#44)

Some of these points are funny; some are pretty bitchy and mean, which makes it all the more unprofessional that it was "organized" by an actual (former) editor of the Press.

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