Fifteen-year-old Metro New York, one of the city’s two freebie daily papers, will disappear following the sale of assets to Schneps Media, which already owns the other freebie paper amNew York.
A merged paper will be reflagged as amNewYork Metro starting Jan. 6.
“We’ve purchased the assets of Metro New York and Metro Philadelphia,” said Schneps Media president Joshua Schneps, confirming a story that The Post reported on Dec. 30. Metro Philadelphia will continue to be published under its current name.
The staffs of both papers were laid off by former owner Metro US on Friday, but Schneps said some of the employees will be offered jobs at Schneps.
“We have job offers out to about 20 people,” he said. Group publisher Ed Abrams and Philadelphia publisher Susan Peiffer are expected to keep their jobs under the new owners.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report
Now that Brooklyn Paper owner Schneps Media, recent buyer of amNewYork (now downsized), has bought (and apparently closed) the other free daily, Metro, it's worth a look at the recent podcast interview, Schneps Media Publisher on Dominating Media Online and Offline.
At 8:19 of the interview, Walker asks, "What do you look for in terms of like a quality of a writer or a story?"
The first thing is we always look for people who get it about community news. So we have editors. For every single one of our papers has their own editor, so that they are the voice of the community. We don’t homogenize news and we use our team of reporters to cover each part. Let’s say in Queens, we’ll have the editor-in-chief, but then we’ll have reporters covering the northwest, the northeast, the western, the southern parts, so that we are able to get the stories and make sure we have reporters who get it about the importance of the community, the business community, because I believe that without a strong business community like we have on Bayside on Bell Boulevard.
When you don’t have any empty stores, that means that’s a good neighborhood, because that neighborhood is supporting the businesses. So I’m a big believer in supporting local businesses and then being able to know that we have them understand that you’ve gotta go to the community board meetings, and it’s not what’s on the agenda, it’s the people in the audience.
So we really train our reporters to be as grassroots as we are, in terms of reaching out and getting stories, being exclusive with the story, being able to develop relationships with some of the political leaders that need to have their story told.
We’re not a political newspaper, but we get it that we have to cover the politics of our borough. We just went through a crisis with Amazon in Queens, and the disaster of a few people who were very negative and left-wing about giving Amazon incentives, and that was a big story for us because it was local but yet it was also international and national.Wait a second.
While it is true that most of the Amazon incentives were off-the-shelf, there were significant questions as to whether they were justified. Moreover, there was a discretionary grant of half a billion dollars from the state, plus a seemingly generous land deal. (Plus, as we just learned from the Wall Street Journal, an initial offer that was more generous.)
That's supposed to generate journalism. Schneps is more likely to gush about Hudson Yards (in what seems to be a freebie hotel visit).
Gushing is understating it, from her cheesy titled weekly op-ed "Victoria's secrets"
Friendships take me on many paths and this weekend I discovered a new world in our great city: The Hudson Yards created over the ugly train rail on the West Side of Manhattan.
The train tracks are there, but some creative genius engineers figured out how to put a “roof” over them and build stunning soaring buildings on the new surface.
She and I immediately bonded and she invited me to stay at the hotel. I accepted and last Saturday it was my treat to spend the night there.
As I drove up the West Side highway and took a left turn onto the “campus” of the Hudson Yards, I saw the glistening Vessel, the extraordinary centerpiece of the Yards surrounded by a Neiman Marcus mall, which connects to The Shed, a cultural center, and my destination, the Equinox Hotel.
I felt lost in the remarkable setting and called Emily, who told me to look for her doorman wearing a white shirt. With her guidance I found the hotel across from the shopping mall.
The doorman showed me to the elevator, which I took to the 24th floor to check in. From there, we were taken to our corner room on the 30th floor with incredible views of the Hudson River and Midtown.
The Equinox brand is 25 years old and this is their first hotel. I love how their theme of “high-performance living” has translated into an unusual 5-Star luxury hotel experience.
I was amazed when the bellman showed me the TV sleep system programming, which included relaxation, stretching, and yoga videos.
I knew I was in a special place for a serene night of sleep when I saw the puffy down comforters and specially designed push-button blackout shades from an iPad with temperature and light control.
I took a tour of the Equinox’s 60,000 square-foot gym, as well as their rejuvenating spa, which added to their “temple of well being” feeling I had at the hotel.
Brunch was on the 24th floor overlooking the Hudson at Electric Lemon, offering the fluffiest, tastiest egg-white omelette I ever ate. There’s something enervating about sitting on top of the world and the sun shining light onto our comfortable plush sofa seating.
Gothamist actually did a shockingly good report on this:
The addition of the amNewYork brand, a respected citywide outlet, would seem to bolster Schneps’ claim to being the most far-reaching media company in the New York market—and one of the few publishers to find a path for growth in an era of crisis for local news.
Appearing on NY1 earlier this week, Josh Schneps attributed their success to maintaining a “deep investment in the local community.” The company was started by his mother in her Bayside living room in 1985, and has remained rooted in the neighborhoods of northeast Queens through its flagship, Queens Courier.
But as the publisher continues to seize wide swaths of the city’s battered local news landscape, those who’ve found themselves under the stewardship of the Schneps family are raising concerns.
According to current and former reporters and editors who spoke to Gothamist, the Schneps playbook involves cozying up to advertisers and local powerbrokers, while muzzling critical coverage of friends and public officials close to the owners. Employees who didn't embrace that approach say they were soon made to feel unwelcome by the new management.
“It very quickly became clear that they’re less of a news company than a promotions company,” said Vince DiMiceli, the former editor-in-chief of Brooklyn Paper, who was let go two months after Schneps’ acquired Community News Group last September. “They wanted to make sure that anything we wrote about any politician was glowing. That's not what newspapers do.”
Reporters at multiple Schneps-owned properties said that the family was particularly fixated on pleasing local judges, since they dictate placement of the mandatory legal notices that remain a major source of revenue for community newspapers. Within months of Schneps takeover, fawning profiles of controversial justices like Noach Dear—who once organized a government trip funded by a whites-only Johannesburg city council, and was later the subject of a federal complaint for campaign finance violations—began appearing in the Brooklyn Paper, with no mention of past scandals.
Reporters also said they were suddenly assigned to cover low-stakes political events—like Brooklyn political boss Frank Seddio's anniversary party—with explicit direction to highlight as many judges as possible. The company’s 76-year-old founder would call the newsroom “several times a day” if a print spread did not feature enough flattering photos of public officials, according to one ex-employee.
“All of a sudden that’s what my editors were doing instead of editing my copy,” that person recalled. (Most of the half dozen editorial employees who spoke to Gothamist requested anonymity, out of fear of angering powerful employers in New York City media or because they’re not authorized to speak about company operations.)
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