Missing the New York Press. September 2023 marks the twelfth anniversary of the demise of the original New York Press after 25 years of faithful service. The absence of New York Press print edition continues to be a loss for all New Yorkers. It reminds me how fortunate we are to be living in one of the few remaining free societies, with a wealth of information sources available for any citizen to access. The New York Press consistently gave the Village Voice, Soho News and New York Observer a run for the money.
How disappointing that the “politically correct” community could not deal with their March 2005 controversial cover page and accompanying article “The 52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death of the Pope” by Matt Taibbi. Too many unfaithful advertisers, readers and elected officials who claim to be defenders of the First Amendment for Freedom of Speech abandoned the paper. This included former Congress member Anthony Weiner who said “Your paper belongs in the garbage.” What goes around comes around.
The New York Press just like other daily and weekly newspapers had to deal with increasing costs for newsprint, delivery and distribution along with reduced advertising revenues and declining readership due to competition from the Internet and other new information sources. We miss weekly newspapers like the New York Press and SoHo News and others who are gone. Today, West Side Spirit, Our Town, Our Town Downtown and other Straus News publications along many of your competitors afford me an opportunity to express my views, as well as differing opinions. Thanks to you, ordinary citizens had the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of elected officials. Public officials use taxpayers dollars to promote their views, via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editor and guest opinion page columns. In many cases, they are produced or written by campaign or office staffers who are paid for by taxpayers. The rest of us have limited time to submit a letter. Let us hope all Straus News publications and all other remaining newspapers continue to prosper. Please join me and your neighbors in continuing to support Straus News weekly papers. Patronize their advertisers; they provide the necessary revenues to help keep them in business. Let them know you saw their ad. This helps keep our neighbors employed, the local economy growing and a free copy of this newspaper you hold in your hands.
Sincerely, Larry Penner
Editor’s Note: The alternative weekly New York Press was founded in 1988 by Russ Smith, known in his early only by his pseudonym “Mugger.” His restaurant and nightlife writing and his irascible conservative comments on city life gave a spirited alternative to city’s preeminent left leaning stalwarts, that at the time included the Village Voice, the New York Observer and the SoHo News. The Voice the leading alternative weekly at time had been paid circulation from its founding in 1955 by Ed Fancher, Dan Wolf, and Norman Mailer but under new ownership, the Voice moved to free distribution in 1996, eight years after NYP debut. VV ended regular print publication in 2015.