Just under a month after announcing he planned to purchase The Weekly Alibi, Albuquerque City Council President Pat Davis tells SFR the deal won't happen after all.
"Circumstances beyond our control as the buyers prevented the sale from going through," Davis explains, "but we recognize Albuquerque needs a strong weekly, so some of the key reporters and key staff have joined us to launch a new weekly starting in October."
Davis says the forthcoming publication, The Paper, will pick up the mantle of the Alibi with similar news and culture reporting, and that while new names and voices are certain to come on board, having recognizable bylines was an important factor in forging ahead. Without contracts in place, however, Davis says he can't comment on who among the Alibi staff is making the transition.
Davis also says he understands concerns from the community about an elected official owning and operating a newspaper.
"I won't make decisions about stories involving the city—and politics in general," he says. "We have a strong firewall in place."
Meanwhile, it's been a few weeks since the Alibi has published a print issue, with its last edition hitting streets Sept. 3, signaling the end of an era for the 28-year-old paper. State political blogger Joe Monahan reported Tuesday morning that the paper is folding. Davis declined to comment, and SFR was unable to reach Alibi owner Christopher Johnson for comment as of this writing.