Dayton City Paper shutting down, writers say

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

A Dayton newspaper that covered arts and entertainment in the Miami Valley did not publish its print edition on its regularly scheduled day this week.

Several sources told us the publication was ceasing operations.

TT Stern-Enzi, the Dayton City Paper's longtime film critic, said the independent tabloid publisher Paul Noah told him of the decision this morning, Sept. 19.

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“He told me it was closing,” Stern-Enzi said. “It is not totally surprising. The landscape is changing.”

Based in Cincinnati, Stern-Enzi has worked for The City Paper for about seven years and said he has a good  relationship with Noah.

“I have probably been writing for the paper just as long as everyone,” said Stern-Enzi, also a writer for City Beat in Cincinnati. “I was there before Paul stepped in as publisher.”

Dayton City Paper writer Allyson Crawford lamented about the closure on her Facebook page as did the Dayton Blues Society.

In a Facebook post, Crawford wrote:

Being a freelance writer is tough. Sadly, the Dayton City Paper is no more - was just told this morning the paper folded. Now I'm on to looking for my next long-term freelance gig! 20 years experience as a writer and interviewer. I know a little something about hair metal bands too. 😀#IHaveAFullTimeDeskJobToo

We have been unable to get confirmation from Noah.

Noah abruptly hung up the phone when Amelia Robinson, a reporter for this news organization, attempted to reach him by phone.

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Approached by reporter Mark Fisher outside of his office at 126 N. Main St. in downtown Dayton, Noah said “Mark, I have no comment.”

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

He was pushing a dolly at the time and was on his way into the publication’s office.

No one else could be seen in the space Noah rents for his business. The building is owned by the Victoria Theatre Association.

Diane Schoeffler-Warren, a spokeswoman for the organization, said she was not aware that there were issues with the publication.

“We haven’t heard a thing,” she said. “We’ve always had a very positive relationship with (Noah).”

The Dayton City Paper last published Sept. 11. The publication’s Facebook page, which was available earlier today, appears to no longer be available. The home page of the publication’s website transitioned to an archive of past editions today as well.

Charlie Campbell, area author of The City Paper’s “Great in Dayton” column, said he was surprised when the new edition did not appear on The City Paper’s website.

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Campbell told us he has tried unsuccessfully to reach Noah and others today.

He said he was shocked by the news.

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

“It’s an end of an era,” Campbell, who also publishes his work in an emailed newsletter, said. “It’s been such a neat thing.”

The newspaper was launched in 1993 as “The Dayton Voice,” but changed its name to “Impact Weekly” in 2002 after being challenged by The Village Voice, a much larger alternative paper based in New York.

It became the Dayton City Paper the following year.

Downtown Dayton Partnership Executive Director Sandy Gudorf said she and her staff had just discussed advertising in the City Paper for the upcoming holiday season.

The newspaper appealed to an important audience, she said.

“The City Paper was a great avenue to reach neighborhood  audiences and other audiences who wanted to know about things happening downtown,” she said.

Reached via Facebook Messenger, popular City Paper food critic Paula Johnson said she could not comment.

“Hi Amelia. Thanks for reaching out. Sadly, I’m not at liberty to make any comments. I would refer you to Paul Noah. Sorry I can’t be of more help,” she wrote.

Credit: Photo by Amelia Robinson

Credit: Photo by Amelia Robinson