D Magazine Ends Its Oak Cliff Experiment, Kills Oak Cliff People

Categories: Media

OakCliffPeople.jpg
When I wrote D magazine's mini-chain of community newspapers, for all of a year in 2009 and 2010, Oak Cliff People was the plum assignment. (Stuff was happening in North Oak Cliff -- stuff that wasn't the absurd residential zoning disputes of Preston Hollow or round 1,038 of the Snider Plaza parking wars in the Park Cities.) The place was in flux, bursting with creative energy, gentrifying but not yet gentrified and filled with all the excitement and conflicts that go along with that process.

That appears to be what D publisher Wick Allison was trying to tap into when he started the paper in 2006, and why Oak Cliff People survived the cuts a couple of years later that whittled down his community newspaper empire from nine or so publications to just three, though one can never be sure just what exactly is traipsing through Wick's mind. It was partly a way to burnish D's urban credentials, partly to gain an early foothold in a neighborhood that was quickly becoming the next big thing.

The experiment is over. Oak Cliff People announced on its blog this morning that this week's edition will be its last. The notice did not make the print edition, because the decision "was not made until after the paper was printed."

In the end, the paper died from financial causes. Businesses in North Oak Cliff never had much motivation to advertise, because most of the neighborhoods' residents already knew they were there. Meanwhile, businesses from other parts of town could never quite get over the negative stereotypes that are familiar to anyone who's ever heard the "Oak Cliff oh."

"As much as we love the community and tried, the revenue generated from this publication was not enough to sustain it," publisher Patricia Martin said.

The paper has always been a loss leader and was doomed to eventually fall to Wick's ax. The reason it's happening now likely has less to do with the publication's balance sheet than the fact that the papers in Preston Hollow and the Park Cities are no longer making enough to continue propping it up.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
32 comments
Just-Sharon
Just-Sharon

It is always evident that the D staffers somehow see themselves as part of the bubble they report on.  They attempt to distract their undeserved arrogance with lame attempts at sarcasm.  It would be nice if they could step down from their high horse and at least ride a mid-size horse for a while.  Their prissiness can be laughable though. 

NOakCliff
NOakCliff

The OC addition didn't have a lot of news, but we enjoyed getting it, all the same. A huge amount of their advertising was real estate, and the majority of that was $1MM plus homes in UP, HP, etc.  I'll miss the crime report, too, although for past several months they've only listed the "top 10," possibly in an attempt for more advertising space.

So, will they refund unused subscriptions? I've got about six months left, which is just a few bucks. I won't be trying to track down anybody if they don't send me a check.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

Before the May 2013 election, it was widely known in Oak Cliff that editor Dan Koller was a huge Delia Jasso supporter. Griggs had trouble getting any exposure telling of his good work in District 3. Koller even went on record predicting a Jasso win, even though we knew it wouldn't happen. Now that he's the District 1 council member,and continues to shake up City Hall, you gotta wonder if OC People got tired of being forced to report on Griggs accomplishments at 1500 Marilla. With all of the ads (revenue)in D Magazine, you would think they would have better content.

J_A_
J_A_

They should've named it Bishop Arts People instead

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

KILLS Oak Cliff People 

Should that be discontinues southern Dallas Publication ? 



ruddski
ruddski

Wow, how many were killed?

RSFII
RSFII

D Magazine should just change its name to HP Magazine. It doesn't care about anything else.

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

Sorry, but blaming it on the advertisers is chickenshit, especially when the more probable situation was that advertisers couldn't afford to throw money down a rat hole. No matter how good the paper may have been, the only reason advertisers would have any interest in paying for said advertising is if they got any kind of response. As far too many weekly papers are realizing these days, those potential advertisers can usually get more response from Facebook or Twitter than from buying a quarter-page ad that might, MIGHT, get three responses in a two-month campaign. I'm also willing to bet that those backhanded "businesses from other parts of town" figured "Really: who the hell even reads any of the 'People' papers, much less bothers to read the ads?"

Daniel
Daniel

I have to imagine that D's "People" franchise was viewed as something of a carpetbagger by the hardy boho locals. And a harbinger of the wrong kind of gentrification. 

Nothing against them, of course. Preston Center and Inwood Village will always have their share of restaurants and boutiques. Some of them might even hire a very expensive designer to give them that elusive "funky" feel. But don't worry, it will still be very clean and white!

EricCeleste
EricCeleste

@TeaBaggingJesus Hey hey hey! I may attempt to distract [from] my underserved arrogance with lame attempts at sarcasm and ride a high horse, but ... what was that third thing you said?

Dan_Koller
Dan_Koller

@dallasdrilling.wordpress.com Thanks, Drillbit. Now my status as a huge Delia Jasso supporter is even more widely known, because I didn't know about it until you wrote it here.

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

@RSFII That's not true at all. D cares terribly about the unemployment rate of SMU's journalism and marketing graduates. That's why so much effort went into reviving it after American Express shut it down in 1993. You can't expect them to get jobs based on actual skills and talents instead of mutual coke dealers, now can you?

HardyBoHo
HardyBoHo

@RSFII That is totally untrue. They care about downtown and its real estate. Probably more than HP right now.

ryan762
ryan762

@LeroyJenkem That was a lot of words that essentially contradict your initial statement. Advertisers didn't want to advertise. You list reasons why advertisers wouldn't want to advertise after saying that the problem wasn't advertisers not wanting to advertise.

if6were9
if6were9

@Daniel The folks that Oak Cliff(Bishop Arts area and the sort) are looking for are those "clean and white" people, too. They just want them with that faux-dirty look and a few more tatted arms. 

HardyBoHo
HardyBoHo

@Daniel That is definitely true. Lots of eye rolling by local business folks when they are contacted by the cute advertising girls that Wick likes to hire.

Just-Sharon
Just-Sharon

@EricCeleste @TeaBaggingJesus I never do 3rd. But 4 U.

How many times do you look at yourself in a mirror per day?

How many light fixtures in your home?

At what point during your weight loss did you take you shirt off and never put it back on again?

Where do you suspect your undeserved arrogance comes? 

Why do you hate the poor such much?  Do you think that others think you might be rich from the multitudes and free samples you carry around in your ultra swag gag party gift of a Prada Bag?

Do you think Tim Rogers will eventually sue you?

bradford.pearson1
bradford.pearson1

@LeroyJenkem I just looked around at the entire D edit team: the magazine, D CEO, Home, Weddings, and the web team. There is not one SMU grad.

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

@HardyBoHo Yeah, but for how long after Tim Rogers finally gets the axe and he can't promote his wife's clients any more?

Daniel
Daniel

@if6were9 @Daniel Yeah, I support BA and its cadre of plucky entrepreneurs categorically, and wish it/them all the further success in the world, but let's face it: The joint is already just too damn cute.  

Daniel
Daniel

@HardyBoHo @Daniel There appears to be scarcely a female hired in the D Empire who isn't terrific-looking. And very clean and -- well, you know.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@NOakCliff It's enough to make me miss the good old days of having to call the cops about knife fights and drug deals in my front yard.

NOakCliff
NOakCliff

Bishop Arts overall problem is parking. There was barely enough when it was only marginally popular, now it's almost impossible. We're lucky enough to be within walking distance (20 minutes), and try to never drive into that area.

LizJohnstone
LizJohnstone

@bvckvs @ryan762 @Daniel @HardyBoHo 

Trust a Dallas Observer troll to make this—the closing of a weekly newspaper—about his impotent, deluded relationship with the opposite sex. It's reprehensible, rapey, misogynistic, and wrong. It's also pathetic. (Oh, and I work at D. Obviously.) 

EricCeleste
EricCeleste

@bvckvs @ryan762 @Daniel @HardyBoHo Hey, where are the Observer staffers complaining about rape culture? Cuz, you know ... [points finger at above comments]. I think that's it.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...