Officials at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport removed the local magazine’s March edition from news stands and other distribution points, saying the cover reinforces the city’s negative image.
“The controversy got us banned from distributing the full 25,000 copies – only 15,000 made it out” at the airport, publisher Anthony Brancaleone told me.
Airport officials apparently didn’t realize the headline was satirical and meant to mock Forbes magazines’ recent declaration that Detroit was the most miserable city in the U.S.
“Our population and housing is down, crime is up, schools and parks are closing, and perhaps, if we were honest with ourselves, as a community we’ve yet to come together well enough to fix our problems,” Brancaleone wrote in the magazine. “But does that make us miserable?”
Brancaleone pointed to the thriving parts of Detroit where art, music and culture are flourishing. He noted the optimism and resiliency of the region.
The magazine is available online and is distributed throughout metro Detroit, including Slows, Mercury Bar, Astro Coffee, Guardian Building, Compuware, Fisher, Motor City Wine, Grand Trunk, American Coney, Germack coffee, 1515 Broadway, Great Lakes Coffee, Good Girls Paris Crepes, Rodin, Town Pump, Centaur and Eastern Market.
“We felt the cover to be an effective way to grab the attention of our readers, and our creative choice was intended to show our audience that we would not be bullied by the elites on 5th Avenue” in New York City, Brancaleone said.
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Steve Neavling, who lives on the city’s east side, is an investigative journalist, a freelance reporter for Reuters and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Neavling explores corruption, Detroit’s unsung heroes and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.