Though the announcement was made too late to be included in Monday’s First Read, you may have already heard by now that City & State was purchased yesterday in a management buyout led by Tom Allon, the CEO of the publication’s former parent company, Manhattan Media. As a consequence of the deal, Allon has resigned from Manhattan Media and now will become the president of a new venture, which will focus exclusively on producing City & State.
The news of the sale was greeted by C&S’ editorial team with a mixture of excitement and relief.
Excitement, because of the bold commitment Tom and his business partner, Steve Farbman, a former CEO of News Communications, have made to building upon the success of C&S and the vision they have articulated for its future.
Relief, because in acquiring City & State, Tom simultaneously announced that he was abandoning his bid for the mayoralty of New York—an endeavor that has complicated the lives of the publication’s reporters since Tom entered the race in July 2011.
As Tom put it yesterday in The New York Times, “I’ve already done enough over the past year to make the lives of my journalists uncomfortable. I assured them this morning that the albatross is off their necks.”
Amen to that.
Though Tom genuinely recused himself the paper from the inception of his campaign, the editorial staff has nonetheless had to endure occasional unfounded and utterly unfair accusations of bias in our coverage of the mayoral election—not to mention a slew of snarky tweets from the great wits of the 140-character realm.
Despite this unfortunate sniping, to their great credit, my current and former colleagues have never failed to exemplify journalistic independence and to adhere to the highest standards of reportorial ethics. In particular, I commend my predecessor, Adam Lisberg, for setting the tone that has governed the newsroom’s approach to Tom’s candidacy for the last 20 months.
To make the record clear, not only was Tom never the beneficiary of any favoritism on the part of the publication, if you were to review the parallel coverage of our fellow news outlets you would find that he received comparatively far less attention from City & State, as it was our general rule of thumb to err on the side of ignoring his candidacy, except for in instances when mentioning it was unavoidable or manifestly deserved. If there were ever any imbalance on behalf of City & State in regard to Tom, in truth, it was to his detriment, not his advantage.
But, thankfully, that is all at an end now, and Tom can rejoin the publication which he dreamed up over a decade ago and first brought to life in 2006.
We welcome him back.