Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bill Gunlocke: Back in Saddle, Where He Belongs

Not long ago, I noted a couple of important events in the life of my friend and mentor Bill Gunlocke: his 60th birthday and his new blog. I'm happy to report now that he has even much grander news: he's the new executive editor of New York Press. I learned the good news from him in an email flash a couple days before the news broke, but now that it's out there publicly, I hope you'll join me in wishing him well. Clevelanders who remember him from his years as founder, editor and publisher of the Cleveland Edition can drop him a note of congratulations, at Though he's lived in NYC for a few years, he has been following things in Cleveland, via a close reading of the Cool Cleveland e-letter.

There are a couple of especially interesting details about this deal. The Press's new owner says he'll refuse explicit X-rated ads (the NYTimes' excellent City Room blog noted that the decision was applauded by the National Organization for Woman, which estimates it could mean as much as $12,000 of lost revenue each week). Bill's decision to do the same with the Edition (he refused alcohol ads too) was to his credit, but it no doubt helped spur the paper's demise. (I recall Mike Roberts shamefully gloating about this at the time in Cleveland Magazine). And the NYPress, long positioned as the alternative to the dominant Village Voice, will now be going head-to-head with a paper which the Phoenix-based New Times chain--owner of the Cleveland Scene--has all but gutted. An additional irony: while Rupert Murdoch owned the Voice for several years and mostly left it alone, the working-class-hero libertarian tough guys at New Times have basically ruined the paper in just two years of ownership. They had the gall to rename the chain for the Voice even as they were eviscertating it and weeding out all the strong editorial voices that have helped it achieve its famous name. But therein lies an opportunity for Gunlocke and Co.


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