Jenny DeHuff, a former Philadelphia Daily News reporter, was named the editor-in-chief of Philadelphia Weekly, replacing Kerith Gabriel, who recently resigned after the alt-weekly’s new owner announced it would become a conservative outlet.
DeHuff, who said she started in her new role on Monday, introduced herself to readers in a column this week, which was not published online as of Wednesday night but was accessible in the alt-weekly’s e-edition.
“Most columnists in the city are screaming so loudly into the liberal echo chamber that there is hardly anyone hearing anything from the other side,” DeHuff wrote. “The paper can now offer readers a platform where conservative perspectives can challenge liberal ones. Here, there is room to share ideas, debate and learn.”
DeHuff, 38, has been a Philadelphia-based journalist for about 15 years. She started as a reporter for the Bulletin, a now-defunct newspaper that was a conservative voice in the region and then went on to work for local outlets, including the Times Herald, the Daily News, and Philly Voice, according to her LinkedIn profile. She’s spent the last two years as a freelance journalist, including recent contributions to Broad + Liberty, an outlet launched a year ago.
When DeHuff saw Philadelphia Weekly’s September announcement of a $5,900 Kickstarter campaign to gauge interest in an ideological shift, she thought it was such a great idea that she even made a small donation. DeHuff said, “A good alt news story will still carry the tenets of basic journalism — in that they’re accurate, thorough and fairly representing fact.” In leading Philly Weekly’s new direction, she said the organization will be telling stories “that get underreported and that our conservative readership cares about.”
Her introductory column criticized the city’s response to the former Parkway homeless encampment, chided the departure of conservative voices from The Inquirer’s columnist staff, and described her experience hearing that Joe Biden was the projected winner of the presidential election. (She cheered with friends and said she had voted for him.)
“Our mainstream news sources in the city always lean left,” DeHuff wrote in an email to The Inquirer. “By creating a space for alternative conservative news and opinion, the publication will tap into a whole new market.”
When asked in September what would change if the alt-weekly met its fund-raising goal, chairman and publisher Dan McDonough Jr. said readers would see “a shift in the focus of our cover stories.” McDonough did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment. This week’s cover story features a Black chef, activist, and artist who lives in West Philly.
“We are still going to have that same robust content surrounding arts and culture and entertainment and music and sex and gossip, that type of thing, in the paper every week,” DeHuff said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s just going to be the addition of the news and editorial aspect that is going to be more conservative.”
Philly Weekly will be joining other more conservative-leaning outlets in the city. Broad + Liberty founder Albert Eisenberg previously described his outlet as “sharing stories and voices that are shut out otherwise from other outlets.”