Cleveland SceneCleveland Scene
In 1970, Richard Kabat saw an opportunity for an entertainment-centric weekly and launched Cleveland Scene with a loan from his brother. Then he and his inexperienced staff held on long enough to catch one of the last waves of money to wash over Cleveland, the rock-and-nightlife boom of the ’70s and ’80s. Scene and music would become almost synonymous.
Two decades later, history repeated, sort of. When The Cleveland Edition, a rabble-rousing alternative weekly, closed for good in 1992, attorney Richard Siegel recognized the void that paper’s demise would leave in the oligarchic Rust Belt town. So he started a a paper, the Free Times.
In 1998, both Free Times and Scene were bought by rival national chains. Scene grew beyond its music-centric focus, making it and Free Times direct competitors. The rivalry was fierce and at times nasty. In 2002 Scene‘s owners bought the Free Times and left it for dead, only to see it rise again under new ownership and resume the fight.
The stalemate finally ended in the summer of 2008, when Times Shamrock bought both papers and merged them under the still-powerful Scene name. And today the new Scene retains the best of both award-winning predecessors, widely recognized as Northeast Ohio’s best source of hard-hitting journalism, compelling feature writing and insightful commentary.