Schneps Media takes control of amNewYork, lays off 9
The new owner of amNewYork officially took over the free daily newspaper from Newsday on Thursday — and was swinging the ax on Friday.
The five-day-a-week commuter paper, handed out at subway stops and rail terminals, was sold to Schneps Media, publisher of the Queens Courier and other NY papers, earlier this month. Patrick Dolan-owned Newsday was said to be losing about $5 million a year on the freebie, and is only keeping Newsday alive on Long Island.
Friday’s ax hit the chiefs of amNewYork’s print and digital versions. The website, amny.com, had a six-person staff headed by Polly Higgins, while the print edition was run by a 10-person staff headed by Robert Levin. Both were let go, insiders said.
Under Schneps, the paper will be staffed by a few survivors along with reporters from Schneps’ other 50 local weekly newspapers and magazines. The total staff will fall to just seven — down from its current 16, sources said.
“Today is my last day at amNewYork after 4 yrs and 1,000+ articles. I’ve loved working with such a great group of journalists and I learned so much from all of you,” news manager of the website, Nicole Brown, tweeted.
Josh Schneps, chief executive of Schneps Media, did not return a call seeking comment.
Free subway papers, which proliferated in the early aughts, have been hurt by shrinking retail, which dampens ads, and growing mobile phone service on subways and trains. The Washington Post last month closed its free commuter newspaper, The Express.
Schneps’ portfolio includes NY Metro-area pubs Downtown Express, The Villager, the Brooklyn Paper, the Park Slope Courier, Gay City News and Caribbean Life.
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