The Jan. 7 press release was short and to the point: “Alternative weekly publication The Other Paper will cease publication at the end of the month, the Dispatch Printing Company announced today. The last issue is set for distribution on Jan. 31.”
People reacted to the news with anger but not a lot of surprise, according to Richard Ades, who worked at The Other Paper, a weekly alternative newspaper in Columbus, Ohio, for all of its 22 years – first as a theater critic, then as the arts editor from 2008 to 2013.
“Most people w
ho knew who we were and were familiar with the Dispatch were surprised that they kept us around that long,” he said.
The Dispatch Printing Co., which owns the large-daily Columbus Dispatch, purchased The Other Paper – along with city magazine Columbus Monthly, newsweekly chain Suburban News Publications and a host of smaller publications – in September 2011 from American Community Newspapers.
“Some people thought it was the Dispatch getting back at us,” Ades said. “I think it was probably more of a business decision.”
The business decision was based on eliminating competition, according to journalism professor Kelly Messinger, the chair of the English Department at Columbus’ Capital University.