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Washington City Paper to cut salaries by 40 percent

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The Washington City Paper will slash employee salaries by 40 percent starting on Jan. 1 as the alt-weekly continues its search for a buyer, according to a Monday report.

WRC-TV, a Washington, D.C., NBC affiliate, report that the salary cut will result in most editorial salaries at the 36-year-old paper dropping below $30,000 per year.

The Hill has reached out to the Washington City Paper for comment.

The paper is owned by Tennessee-based SouthComm publishing, which recently laid off 25 percent of its editorial staff at the Nashville Scene newspaper.

Washington City Paper has a long list of notable alumni, including CNN’s Jake Tapper; Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic; Kara Swisher, co-founder of Recode; the late David Carr, media columnist at The New York Times; and Josh Levin, the executive editor of Slate, among dozens of others.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that conservative columnist Armstrong Williams was interested in buying the paper. Williams subsequently told a Post reporter he would not buy the weekly. 

The City Paper’s struggles reflect broader trends in the industry, with ad revenues and subscriptions tumbling downward.

Pew Research reported over the summer that total weekday circulation for U.S. daily newspapers fell 8 percent in 2016 on both the print and digital fronts. The drop marks the 28th consecutive year of declines.

There was also a double-digit decline in advertising revenue for the industry in 2016, a trend expected to continue when numbers are tallied for this year.

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