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The Small, Small World of Washington Media
The departure of “Washington City Paper” editor Michael Schaffer sheds light on the tangled web of local journalism. By Garrett M. Graff
Comments () | Published June 15, 2012

Yesterday’s departure of City Paper editor Michael Schaffer gives a window into just how interrelated the Washington media world can be sometimes—and how strong of an alumni network the alt-weekly has in journalism.

The news in the matter is that Schaffer, who became the City Paper’s editor in 2010 after longtime chief Erik Wemple left for TBD.com, is becoming the editorial director at the New Republic, edited once again by his former schoolmate Franklin Foer, and taking with him City Paper housing blogger Lydia DePillis. Additionally, City Paper managing editor Mike Madden will step into the editor role, and arts editor Jonathan Fischer will be Madden’s number two.

Andrew Beaujon broke the news yesterday on his Poynter blog, but had to add this disclaimer: “I used to be managing editor at City Paper, I worked with Wemple at TBD.com, and I hired DePillis and Fischer.”

That news was picked up over at DCist, where Benjamin Freed had to add this disclosure in reporting it: “I have been a contributing writer to the Washington City Paper since April 2010 and have worked with Schaffer, Madden, DePillis, and extensively with Fischer. I also gave Fischer one of his first jobs in journalism—editing the arts section of the student newspaper at Brandeis University.”

While the Washington Post’s media blog, edited by—wait for it—Erik Wemple, made no mention of the musical chairs at the alt-weekly, the paper does have today Hank Stuever’s review of HBO’s new documentary about America’s love affair with canine pets, airing Monday, which carries with it the disclaimer: “One Nation Under Dog is inspired by a 2009 book of the same name that was written by a friend of mine, Washington City Paper editor Michael Schaffer.”

About the only person who didn’t have to add a disclosure to his writeup on the news? The City Paper’s newest reporter, Will Sommer, who just joined the paper this month and to whom fell the role of reporting his paper’s news.

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Posted at 12:05 PM/ET, 06/15/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs