Oak Cliff People, R.I.P.

Came news yesterday that we lost a relative. The obituary:

Oak Cliff People, a weekly newspaper that did its best to bring the neighborhoods of North Oak Cliff together but always struggled to make ends meet, died Thursday. It was 7 years old.

There was no farewell message to readers in the final edition (dated Oct. 25), because the decision about there being no further editions was not made until after the paper was printed.

“It was always the most interesting paper to edit,” said Dan Koller, managing editor of the People Newspapers chain since September 2008. “There never seemed to be a lack of news.”

Besides all of the news generated by politicians, criminals, and combinations thereof, the staff devoted a lot of time to writing about the redevelopment of North Oak Cliff, site of no fewer than three Tax Increment Financing districts. They also profiled dozens of interesting neighbors and took pictures at the various festivals in the Bishop Arts District and Lake Cliff Park.

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.

Survivors include two sister papers, Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People.

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