Last Night in Dumbo for Gersh Kuntzman’s Brooklyn Paper Crew

brooklynpaper Last Night in Dumbo for Gersh Kuntzmans Brooklyn Paper CrewOn the evening of Thursday, March 26, staff members of The Brooklyn Paper gathered at their favorite Dumbo happy hour spot, a bar and restaurant called Superfine, for one last round of post-work drinks in the neighborhood the scrappy weekly broadsheet has called home for the past five years.

Editor in chief Gersh Kuntzman, looking quite reporterly in his ensemble of running sneakers, blue jeans and a purple button-down with the sleeves rolled up—neck tie undone—nursed a pint of Stella Artois while cracking jokes with the merry crew of employees surrounding him.

“See, all of Dumbo is pouring out their hearts for us!” he quipped as one of the bar’s owners handed out a send-off batch of complimentary drink tickets.

As The Observer first reported on March 10, Rupert Murdoch has purchased The Brooklyn Paper from Ed Weintrob, its founder and owner of 31 years. Over the past week, its 10 employees have been packing up their Dumbo digs at 55 Washington Street. Starting Monday, they’ll be working out of Bruce Ratner’s MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn, where they will share space with the competing weekly newspaper chain Courier-Life, also their News Corp. brethren.

Speaking to The Observer‘s John Koblin a few weeks ago, Mr. Weintrob said he didn’t perceive News Corp.’s ownership as a threat to The Brooklyn Paper’s longtime tradition of independence. But we couldn’t help but wonder how Mr. Kuntzman and his staff felt about moving from a fun, casual and, of course, messy work environment to the presumably sterile confines of One MetroTech Center, the same complex that houses JPMorgan Chase and Forest City Ratner. Like, will the reporters even be allowed to wear sneakers to work anymore???

Mr. Kuntzman wouldn’t comment except to say, “People say MetroTech is soulless. But we’ve got soul and we’re gonna bring it!” But he has been scouting out new social spots, like a nearby Irish Pub where, he said, one gets $2 off lunch if a beer is purchased with it. “We’ve already discovered places we’re gonna give The Brooklyn Paper treatment to,” he said. 

Mr. Kuntzman also couldn’t say what it would be like working in such close proximity to a competitor, let alone one owned by the same parent company. Nevertheless, he offered nothing but praise for his new employer.

“Newspapers are in a difficult position, and here’s a guy who’s going to bat for us. That’s gotta be a shot in the arm,” he said. “We’re now a part of the most powerful newspaper family in the world. You can’t underestimate how excited we are!”

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President