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The first issue was published on October 11, 1973. Initially published in eight pages, it eventually grew to over 100 pages and competed with The Village Voice. The paper's offices were at 111 Spring Street, Manhattan, although the earliest issues showed the address of Goldstein's apartment on the masthead. Circulation was reported as 25,000 - 30,000.
The paper was sold to Associated Newspaper Group (ANG) in 1979. In the fall of 1981, ANG announced plans to close or sell the paper by February 1982. Although there were negotiations with possible purchasers, which continued beyond the original deadline, continuing losses ($1.7 million in the previous year) forced ANG to shut down the paper in March. The recent unionization of the paper was cited a factor in the decision.
The last issue dated March 10-16, 1982 had 40,000 copies printed.
Influence and style
Three years after it was launched, The New York Times reported that the SoHo Weekly News was the second largest English-language weekly in the city, was being positioned as a direct competitor of The Village Voice, and was sold at 400 newsstands in New York City.
After the paper shut down, the New York Times ran an op-ed which called the SoHo News the "alternative to alternative papers". The paper's contributors were described as an eccentric mix of "neo-conservatives and Marxists, radical feminists and hedonistic libertines, chronic potheads and antidrug crusaders".
The paper was an outspoken critic of the commercialization and gentrification of SoHo, the neighborhood where it was located and concentrated its coverage. Topics covered included a review of East Village drug merchants; the piece described various brands of heroin and cocaine that were available, their street names, and commented on the relative quality.
New music coverage
The SoHo News was known for its coverage of new musical artists in downtown New York. In 1975, the SoHo Weekly News was one of the first papers to interview The Ramones. In 1978, they ran an interview with the Talking Heads.
On November 26, 1979, 27-year-old Manhattan resident Henry Benvenuti walked into the SoHo Weekly News office and asked to see art editor Gerry Marzorati. After being told he could not see Mr. Marzorati, Benvenuti took out a hatchet, stated that, "I'm doing this in the name of art," chopped off two of his fingers, and walked out of the office, leaving the fingers behind. Benvenuti and his severed fingers were taken to Bellevue Hospital. Doctors were unable to reattach the fingers.
Many SoHo News staff went on to have significant careers after the paper shut down. Noteworthy alumni include:
^Petrus, Stephen (2003). "From Gritty to Chic: The Transformation of New York City's SoHo, 1962-1976". New York History. 84 (1): 50-87. JSTOR23183476. Ironically, one voice that strongly opposed the gentrification did much to promote it. The SoHo Weekly News, founded in 1973 by former press agent Michael Goldstein, teemed with editorials, columns, and articles that railed against the commercialization.
^Fox, Marisa (December 22, 1999). "Her own drummer: In fashion and in business, Kim Hastreiter imitates no one". Chicago Tribune. Section 8 (WomansNews), Page 3. Retrieved 2018. She was discovered by legendary New York Times fashion lensman Bill Cunningham, who admired her offbeat sense of style. He recommended that she be a style editor. When the Soho Weekly News position was made available, she "begged for the job" and landed it.