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CITY and WXXI: joining for enhanced coverage


Norm Silverstein, the president of WXXI, is chair of Rochester Area Media Partners, owner CITY Newspaper and CITY digital media. Mary Anna Towler's Urban Journal will return next week.

To CITY Newspaper readers:

As president of WXXI, I try to keep in touch with our friends in the community with a monthly letter about what's happening at the station, especially significant programming and special events. This month, I focused on our acquisition of CITY Newspaper, and I'm pleased to share that letter with our CITY readers.

Last December, WXXI announced that we had signed a letter of intent to acquire CITY Newspaper and its digital platforms. I am proud to report that on May 1, the acquisition was completed and we are excited to have the opportunity to ensure CITY's long-term success in our community.

This merger will help WXXI and CITY better serve our community through enhanced coverage of arts and culture, education, neighborhoods, and events. As one of our trustees said, "It's an example of what a modern media organization should be doing."

WXXI was approached by Mary Anna and Bill Towler, co-founders and co-publishers of CITY, regarding their desire to preserve the service of the paper beyond their eventual retirement. Independent local journalism continues to be important to the vibrancy of communities nationwide, and Rochester is no exception. We believe this acquisition will preserve and expand the quality and depth of local reporting and prioritize coverage of the arts and culture in the greater Rochester area. We can envision a strong brand extension for both organizations and a sustainable future for the paper with our merged community service.

So what can you expect to see and hear from this acquisition?

• More local long-form news coverage with daily local talk, a state government reporter, and several enterprise and investigative staff reporters – all going after stories that make a difference in the community.

• Digital content that expands reach and engagement by local talent through creative original programming and social media.

• Strengthened curated entertainment experiences. Lifestyle reporting and events calendars that drive arts discovery and appreciation.

• Special film screenings at the Little Theatre; Connections with Evan Dawson; CITY's Best of Rochester, Burger Week, and other favorite events, concerts, music festivals; intimate performances and interviews with big-name artists.

• A good working relationship: WXXI, CITY, and The Little are looking forward to working together, and you can see it in print and on air, where having additional reporters is starting to make a difference.

You'll be hearing more details on how we'll be working together to increase our coverage of politics, culture, arts and, most important, our neighborhoods. We want to be hyperlocal in our relationship with CITY and cover the kind of stories you won't find elsewhere. WXXI and CITY together will work to give you the local coverage you want and deserve.

WXXI and CITY is still a work in progress, and it's important that we help preserve what makes CITY a unique publication and an indispensable source of local news. We're looking forward to adding even more local voices to CITY Newspaper in the coming weeks and months.

To our loyal readers, please let us know what you'd like more of, especially in coverage of arts and culture.

To our advertisers, thank you for recognizing the value that CITY brings to you and your companies and organizations and your customers.

These are exciting times for WXXI, The Little, and CITY Newspaper, and we hope we continue to meet your expectations!

"Independent local journalism continues to be important to the vibrancy of communities nationwide, and Rochester is no exception."