St. Louis’ Iconic Alt-Weekly, The Riverfront Times, Shuts Down After 46 Years: Entire Staff Laid Off

The Riverfront Times, St. Louis’ alt-weekly newspaper, will no longer be available to readers as the alt-weekly has been sold to a buyer whose name has not been disclosed.

As a result of this sale, the newspaper’s current staff have been laid off.

The Riverfront Times Closes Doors, Ends 46-Year Run with Staff Layoffs

The alt-weekly’s former executive editor, Fenske, said on Wednesday,

“It’s devastating for St. Louis. We were breaking a lot of news, and that goes away as of today.”

She added that the first indication of the sale became evident when Big Lou Media owner Chris Keating called for a meeting on Tuesday night.

Fenske said that she had been in journalism for quite some time and had an inkling that the entire writing and editing staff was going to be laid off.

Fenske said,

“While somebody has purchased the RFT, it’s not going to be what the RFT was. My best guess is that this is just going to be one of those websites that is a shell of its former self. That’s devastating for St. Louis journalism.”

Earlier, the Riverfront Times, owned by St. Louis-based Chris Keating, was purchased by Big Lou Holdings LLC in 2023 from Euclid Media Group, the Detroit Metro Times, Cincinnati CityBeat, and LEO Weekly in Louisville, Kentucky.

Big Lou Holdings still owns a few alt-weeklies in other towns, which includes Sauce Magazine in St. Louis. The company hopes to retain a few of the laid-off RFT staffers at those other outlets. However, Fenske is skeptical and said that an RFT employee or two may be able to work in some other ventures of the new owners, but the gist of the situation is that RFT is not retaining anyone.

Chris Keating had worked in the media for 25 years and helped to create the Euclid Media Group that later sold the paper to Big Lou Holdings.

Keating had said,

“The Riverfront Times has a long tradition of excellence, and I plan to continue that,”

Later, Keating brought the food- and drink-focused Sauce Magazine into the fold with its full staff.

Riverfront Times’ first print editions rolled out in November 1977 and for a major portion of its existence as an alt-weekly served as a catch-all for stories focusing on people, food, and music of St. Louis and sometimes featured stories focusing on exposing issues in St. Louis.

However, the writing is on the wall, and RFT has met its end. Several staff members took to social media to express their sentiments.

Staff writer Kallie Cox wrote on X,

The Riverfront Times “is officially dead,”. “I can say this is the best paper I’ve ever had the pleasure of working at.”

Doyle Murphy, who worked with the paper for six years from 2015, which included three years as its editor-in-chief, said, “It’s a huge loss for St. Louis. There’s absolutely no voice like the RFT (The Riverfront Times).”

Also Read: Media Matters Announces Layoffs Amid Legal Battles

Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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