A 2017 issue of the Main Street WIRE
A 2017 issue of the Main Street WIRE
File photo

Quietly but convincingly, representatives have been reaching out to Roosevelt Islanders they think might be interested in picking up responsibility for the defunct Main Street WIRE, last published in print in June, 2018. Prospects are being told that the newspaper's last editor/publisher Briana Warsing is leaving the country, a fact we confirmed yesterday.

Full disclosure: The Main Street Wire, Inc., owned by Dr. Jack A. Resnick, and Briana Warsing are currently suing me over numerous allegations in New York State Supreme Court.

The WIRE went to online-only publication, a year ago. Difficulty finding enough advertising revenue to keep the print version running forced the issue. Other print newspapers, such as the Village Voice, made similar transitions. Both newspapers have now stopped creating new articles.

The departure of Warsing, who served was editor since 2015 and publisher since 2017, leaves a larger gap because she was also the main producer of content.

Why you might be interested...

Recent years have seen a decline, but the Main Street WIRE retains a reputation for reliable local reporting for many, especially residents who can't or prefer not to get their news online. 

Any new editor or publisher would have a head start.

A small but committed group of experienced loyalists can be expected to pitch in.

Processes for publishing and distributing are in place and need only be set in motion.

Why you might be wise to pass...

Print journalism has shrunk dramatically in the last decade because costs outstrip available advertising. Print advertising fails to match the effectiveness of internet enabled promotions. And the internet is cheaper -- or should be -- more flexible and environmentally friendly.

An untold story of the WIRE's longtime success tells of Ellen Levy's ability to bring in enough advertisers to pay publishing costs. Her skills were crucial because everyone on the Roosevelt Island got the newspaper. Quality of the journalism was of less significance because virtually no one paid for a subscription.

Finding good writers who'd stick and help create content was a factor the WIRE dealt with throughout its existence, although under Editor/Publisher Dick Lutz pay for writers was well above average. A career journalist, Lutz showed his respect for contributors. He also struggled to recruit enough of them.

Conclusion

Anyone considering taking up responsibility for the WIRE will inevitably find other benefits and obstacles, but so far as we know, there has been no serious interest.