David Carr to Leave City Paper For Web Startup

AAN Edit Chair Will Join New York-based Powerful Media in May.

David Carr, Editor of the Washington City Paper and AAN Editorial Committee Chair, announced yesterday that he will leave his position in May to join a New York-based web startup. Carr will serve as the national correspondent covering newspapers and magazines for Powerful Media, an online business news site focusing on the media and entertainment industry. Powerful Media was founded by magazine industry vets Kurt Andersen and Michael Hirschorn.

Carr will remain at the City Paper for the next two months to help with the transition to a new editor. He has served as the paper’s Editor since mid-1995, when he left the now defunct Twin Cities Reader in Minneapolis to fill the big shoes of Jack Shafer, who eventually moved on to become Deputy Editor of the online magazine, Slate.

“I work for the best ownership in the business, have a tremendous sense of pride in the work we do here, and think that putting out a weekly paper is the last bastion of literary based journalism,” Carr told his staff in a memo announcing his departure. “But I’ve been doing this job, or one like it, for nine years. I need to come out from behind the desk and start doing my own stories.”

Carr currently writes a weekly media column for the City Paper and has been an occasional freelance contributor to Salon.com and other publications.

Carr says he accepted the position with Powerful Media primarily due to his admiration for co-founders Andersen and Hirschorn. “They are people I’ve admired almost since I got in the business. I trust them and like them. They’re reputed to be great guys to work for, people of integrity and decency.”

He says he’s confident that Andersen and Hirschorn have a sound business strategy. “The idea that you can do high-tempo business journalism and draw people to your site doesn’t sound like a pipe dream. Somewhere between Variety and the Wall Street Journal, there’s a way to talk about convergent media.”

He also expresses enthusiasm for his new beat, which he calls “One of the stories of our age: how old media becomes new media. And I’m going to be covering the shakeup.”

Despite his impending transition to the Internet, Carr says he’ll always be a newspaper guy. “I’m still going to be drowning in grubby old ink,” he assures, noting that he’ll still be covering hard copy. But more than twenty years of newsprint won’t wash off easily. “Make no mistake; I’ll be leaving something behind that I really love.”

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