As I’m writing this, COVID-19 has closed all of Pittsburgh’s bars and restaurants. (Even Jack’s is closed, so even conspiracy theorists now know it’s a pandemic.) We’re being advised to avoid events with 10 or more people, and all non-essential businesses have been asked to suspend operations. But know what’s not a non-essential business and staying open? “Liquor stores?” you say? Sorry yinz, they just closed too. It's us, your favorite local altweekly.
Our entire city is facing the devastating results of the pandemic, and Pittsburgh City Paper is no exception. In addition to all of us at City Paper feeling the weight of losing out on all of the things we love to see and do in our communities ourselves, I’m gonna be totally honest: City Paper is in trouble. Times were tough for media even before this hit, and now? Let’s just say I recently got my medical marijuana card, and I’m heading to one of our city’s best dispensaries first thing tomorrow morning.
We are launching a membership campaign today in order to help fight some of these losses, with the hope that readers who depend on our daily coverage of local news, arts, music, food, and entertainment recognize the importance in the work we do to keep the city informed and want us to continue.
If you’ve got an extra buck or two to spare, we’d greatly appreciate it. And we know, times are tough everywhere. We totally get it. If you’ve been hit hard by this pandemic, we’re not asking you to contribute right now. (We’ve been covering other industries hit hard this week too, with stories on local arts communities raising funds and virtual tips for service workers.) But if you are in a good spot, we’d love your support. (Click here to sign up: Pittsburgh City Paper Membership Page.) Our team even threw in a few perks to get things rolling, and we hope to include some larger membership thank you gifts soon too. (This membership campaign is something we were planning to launch later this year, but the current spike in lost ad revenue was too great to hold off any longer.)
I hope all of you stay safe and keep finding those moments of sanity in the coming weeks. And that we kick this coronavirus jagoff properly in the ass. Together.
On behalf of the entire Pittsburgh City Paper staff, including: Jasmine Hughes, director of advertising; Kevin Shepherd, director of operations; Alex Gordon, managing editor; Ryan Deto, senior writer; Amanda Waltz, senior writer; Hannah Lynn, staff writer; Jordan Snowden, staff writer; Maggie Weaver, staff writer; Jared Wickerham, staff photographer; Josh Oswald, digital media manager; Abbie Adams, editorial designer; Josie Norton, graphic designer: Jeff Schreckengost, graphic designer; Blake Lewis, events and sponsorship manager; Kaitlin Oliver, senior account executive; Zack Durkin, sales representative; Bryer Blumenschein, events and marketing coordinator; Justin Matase, business manager; and Jeff Engbarth, circulation manager.