CITY Newspaper in Rochester, NY will be acquired by local public broadcaster WXXI, founding owners Bill and Mary Anna Towler announced in a note to readers today:
Today CITY and WXXI Public Broadcasting are announcing a major development in local journalism: WXXI’s board of directors has signed a letter of intent to acquire CITY Newspaper and its digital platforms.
After the acquisition, WXXI will remain a not-for-profit public media organization while CITY will continue to be a newspaper and digital publication owned by a for-profit subsidiary of WXXI.
As founders and co-publishers, we have wanted to ensure that CITY’s journalism and community service continue beyond our eventual retirement. We believe the need for those efforts has never been stronger, and we sought out WXXI because it is a trusted community entity with the same mission.
We’ve been members of WXXI for many years, and have been voracious consumers of their services. It is clear that CITY and WXXI have similar missions, and together, we will be greater than the sum of two organizations.
Independent journalism continues to be important to this community. WXXI’s acquisition will preserve and expand the quality and depth of local reporting. And it will prioritize coverage of the arts, culture, and life in the Greater Rochester area.
Many of the concerns that faced the Greater Rochester area when both WXXI and CITY were founded are relevant today. New media opportunities have developed since CITY began its public service mission, and with this acquisition, WXXI will help provide wide-ranging access to that content.
The acquisition offers opportunities to both CITY and WXXI. It gives WXXI the opportunity “to better serve our community through enhanced news coverage with an extended focus on arts and culture, education, neighborhoods, and events,” WXXI President Norm Silverstein says. “It’s an example of what a modern media organization should be.”
We believe that by combining the resources of a print publication, digital publications, radio, television, and the Little Theatre’s screen and community-space offerings, we have unprecedented opportunities to serve the Rochester region with exceptional journalism.
We are excited about this new phase in CITY’s life, which will continue the work that we and a series of talented Rochesterians have been doing for nearly 50 years. We welcome and encourage your comments.
– Bill and Mary Anna Towler
CITY Newspaper was launched in 1972 by the Towlers, who have run the paper during the 46 years since its founding.