Baltimore’s City Paper has been purchased by the group that owns the city’s daily, the Baltimore Sun. Going forward, all City Paper employees will be fired, some to be eventually rehired by the new ownership.

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post has all the details, including at least one crushing quote from a current-for-the-moment employee:

“This is the only thing I’ve ever done,” says Smith. “I have sources and a body of knowledge built over a period of time that doesn’t go anywhere else very easily. If I’m out of a job, I guess I’ll have to find another career.”

I’ve only dipped into City Paper once, when I was visiting Baltimore this past September. From what I saw, it was a great and vital publication. It hardly needs to be said that Baltimore is a city with some great culture in addition to some real issues to address. I’m hoping much of the staff gets to return, and that the potential for editorial independence mentioned in Wempel’s post is for real.