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.

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, 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

but had to add this disclaimer: “I used to be managing editor
City Paper, I worked with Wemple at, 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

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

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