The CLEVELAND EDITION emerged as Cleveland's chief alternative newspaper during the decade following the death of the CLEVELAND PRESS. Co-founded by Bill Gunlocke, a former teacher from western New York, and Rikki Santer, a Cleveland native who served as managing editor, the free weekly tabloid made its first appearance on 31 Aug. 1984. A writers' paper, it featured such veterans as Doug Clarke and Fred McGunagle of the Press and Roldo Bartimole of POINT OF VIEW, along with younger stylists such as Eric Broder, Mary Grimm, and Michael Drexler. Gunlocke aimed it at the affluent demographic group born after World War II, known variously as baby-boomers or "yuppies" (young urban professionals). Stories tended to be personalized and often took issue with the decisions and actions of the city's power establishment.
Because of the difficulty of financing a newspaper solely on advertising revenue, the Edition led a phoenix-like existence. Much of the problem lay in its policy of free distribution, which made it hard to prove to advertisers how many of its 30,000 copies actually reached the readers. The weekly suspended publication twice, for a total of more than 2 years of its 8-year existence, before the third and final suspension in May 1992. Among the weeklies which appeared to fill its publishing niche were the City Reports and the Cleveland Free Times.