Fate of media column uncertain
Erik Wemple has been named editor of Washington City Paper, Jane Levine, chief operating officer, announced today.
She also announced that Richard Byrne, who had been interim editor since the departure of Howard Witt in early November, is leaving the paper to become executive editor of TheGlobalist.com.
Wemple was senior editor of City Paper from 1996 to 1999 and wrote City Paper’s “Loose Lips” media column in 1999 and 2000. He is currently Washington bureau chief for CableWorld magazine and editor and publisher of Export Practitioner. Before that, he served as Washington bureau chief for Inside.com.
“We had our pick of candidates,” Levine says in a news release. “Erik is passionate about the District, about alternative journalism, and about Washington City Paper. People will want to read the paper he makes.”
Former City Paper Editor David Carr says Wemple is a “writer’s editor,” making him a “superb” choice for the job.
“Having worked with Erik at two jobs — Washington City Paper and Inside.com — I know that his seriousness of craft is matched only by his appetite for excellence,” Carr says. “I think he’ll quickly advance City Paper in ways people haven’t even thought about.
Carr says Wemple has a thorough understanding of narrative journalism. “He knows that good stories don’t just happen; they are built, paragraph by paragraph.”
Wemple replaces Howard Witt, who left City Paper to join the Washington bureau of the Chicago Tribune.
Levine says Byrne will not continue to write his media column, “Press Corpse,” after his departure, and that it is unclear whether Wemple will pick up “Loose Lips” again.
“He will hire someone, not necessarily as an exact replacement for Richard,” Levine says, indicating the duties Byrne had as associate editor may be reconfigured.