Kansas City's Alternative Magazine 'The Pitch' To Go Monthly

Feb 27, 2017

After 37 years, Kansas City's alternative magazine The Pitch will go from weekly issues to monthly. Editor Scott Wilson told KCUR's Gina Kaufmann about the changes Monday on Central Standard.

"The web has changed the way we report," said Wilson. "Things aren't just issue to issue anymore. We'll now get to present long-form journalism, we haven't had the space to do that in a while."

Wilson also emphasized that the publication wouldn't change in "tone or quality."

"We're going to stay in place and begin to grow however we can," Wilson said.

In addition to moving to a monthly distribution schedule, the magazine will also go from being in a newsprint, tabloid-sized form to having a glossier, more magazine-like finish. Wilson said the change could be favorable for the magazine, and that it will "look as good as it reads."

"If we're reviewing a restaurant and we want a great photo, that can be hard to reproduce in newsprint," said Wilson.

The Pitch began as the "Penny Pitch," a monthly zine-like handout from the basement of the Penny Lane Record Shop in Kansas City's Westport neighborhood. While the record store is no more, the publication grew into a free, alternative weekly paper with a solid reputation for both its investigative coverage of local politics and business and its cheeky music and restaurant reviews.

"We have always been very local," said Wilson. "At the same time, everything that happens nationally and internationally, that affects us."

Wilson noted how the "alternative" label has adopted a negative connotation, but said that alternative coverage is still needed in the media.

"Alternative media is about finding oddities and gaps in coverage and zeroing in on them," he said. "You also get a chance to talk about people and their perspective, and watch news unfold that way, which is different from the traditional inverted pyramid news story."

The Pitch editor Scott Wilson says the new magazine-style publication will improve the look of images.
Credit The Pitch

Wilson also says that readers have changed quite a bit.

"Readers are more savvy than they used to be. It's more incumbent on them to think about what they consume, how much they consume, and it's up to media to trust the consumer while still living up to its own standards."

Wilson says he's glad to see The Pitch stay true to its values. "Our paper is progressive. That doesn't mean left or liberal, that means progress. When we have been critical of structures and businesses, it's with the aim to spark improvement."

Looking at the future of the publication, Wilson is hopeful. "We've never been leaner, but this is not the beginning of the end," he said. "As long as we have people who are critical of how business is done here, how politics is done here, we will stay relevant."

The Pitch's first monthly edition will be in April.

Caitlin Troutman is an intern for KCUR's Central Standard.