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The Washington City Paper is a U.S.marker alternative weekly newspaper serving the Washington, D.C.marker, metropolitan area.

Founded in 1981, and published for its first year under the masthead 1981, taking the City Paper name in volume 2, by Russ Smith, it shared ownership with the Chicago Reader from 1982 until July 2007, when both papers were sold to the Tampamarker-based Creative Loafing chain. The former Chicago Reader Corp., now named Quarterfold, still owns the buildings that house the papers and minority stakes in other alternative newsweeklies.

The City Paper is distributed on Thursdays; its average circulation in 2006 was 85,588. The paper's editorial mix is focused exclusively on local news and arts.

Its editor is Erik Wemple. Amy Austin, the longtime general manager, was promoted to publisher in 2003.


Regular City Paper features include:

  • a cover feature, 2,500 to 12,000 words in length
  • an arts feature, 1,200 to 2,000 words in length
  • The District Line, a section of shorter news features about D.C.
  • Loose Lips, a news column devoted to D.C. local politics, written by Mike DeBonis
  • Dept. of Media, an irregular news column devoted to Washington-based media, written by Erik Wemple
  • Cheap Seats, a feature column devoted to sports in D.C., written by Dave McKenna
  • The Sexist, a sex and gender column and blog, written by Amanda Hess
  • Young & Hungry, a food column written by Tim Carman
  • Housing Complex, a real estate column and blog, written by Ruth Samuelson
  • Artifacts, a pair of short arts features
  • A weekly question-and-answer column by musician Bob Mould
  • Film reviews by Tricia Olszewski
  • Theater reviews by critics Trey Graham and Bob Mondello
  • Music and book reviews by various writers
  • City Lights, a section comprising critics' events picks.

Also published are a number of syndicated features:


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