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City Paper veterans launch new alt-weekly newspaper

A group of City Paper veterans are launching a new alternative weekly newspaper in Baltimore days after City Paper published its final edition.

The Baltimore Beat will be published by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, the media company behind the Washington Blade and recently launched Los Angeles Blade. The newspaper and website will publish its first edition Nov. 15.

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“I was just really disappointed to hear the City Paper was going to close after 40 years in business,” said Kevin Naff, a co-owner of BNP Omnimedia, who will serve as The Beat’s publisher. “I just think the city needs alternative voices.”

City Paper owner Baltimore Sun Media Group announced plans in July to shutter the alt-weekly publication it had acquired in 2014. The paper published its final edition Nov. 1.

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Naff said his company considered buying City Paper or licensing the name after hearing about plans to close but was not able to make a deal with The Sun.

Former City Paper writer and associate editor Lisa Snowden-McCray will serve as editor-in-chief. She most recently worked as a community coordinator at The Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore Sun Media Group declined to comment.

City Paper editor-in-chief Brandon Soderberg is joining The Beat as managing editor. Jennifer Marsh, a former City Paper publisher, is associate publisher of The Beat.

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While The Beat has stocked its top editorial positions with City Paper veterans, the paper won’t be City Paper reincarnated.

“This is not going to be City Paper continued,” Naff said. “It will have a different tone, different voices.”

“We are here to hold politicians accountable, to be voices for people in this city who have historically been ignored, and to help right deeply entrenched wrongs,” said Snowden-McCray, in a statement.

Snowden-McCray said she thinks the paper will bring much-needed diversity to Baltimore’s media landscape.

The paper currently has five full-time employees with plans to grow. When it launches, the publication’s office will be based at the Real News Network building at 231 Holliday Street in downtown Baltimore.

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