Rest in Peace, Robert Simko (1954–2022)

11/22/2022 in
Rest in Peace, Robert Simko (1954–2022)

Robert Simko, publisher of Lower Manhattan’s longrunning community-news outlet The Broadsheet, died earlier this month at the age of 68. Since 1997, the Battery Park resident had owned and operated The Broadsheet (initially dubbed The Battery Park City Broadsheet), one of the city’s first newsprint publications to expand to the web and assume a hyperlocal beat in the media’s digital era. And Simko’s commitment to his beloved neighborhood and all of Lower Manhattan was legible in every edition.

Survived by his wife, journalist Alison Simko, and two children, Lucy and Theo, Simko sustained The Broadsheet in both print and online iterations for decades. Immediately following Simko’s death, his publication broke the news of his passing, citing his suffering from a long illness. This week, they ran an extensive tribute that also sheds light on the origins of The Broadsheet.

From “In Memoriam: Robert Simko”:    

“The Broadsheet was born the same year as Theo,” Alison said. “We were both freelancing at that point, and looking for something more stable. In the summer of 1997, he saw a homemade sign taped to the window of Chase Bank from somebody looking for an apartment. A light went off in Robert’s head: classified ads are the backbone of a newspaper. He said to me, ‘let’s start a newspaper.’ ” 

“My reaction was that his idea was brilliant and we had to do it right away, before somebody else thought of it,” Alison said. “At that point, I was part of the fledgling Battery Park City Parents Association. And in those days, the biggest community event of the year for this neighborhood was Halloween. I knew if we could get the first issue out by late September, people would pick it up because we would have information about Halloween activities. We began this mad scramble, laying out an old-fashioned design on our Mac, picking fonts and choosing photos. It was hard work, but also great fun.”

The Broadsheet has more on Simko, his relationship with his wife Alison and the paper’s history. It’s a must-read for lovers of journalism and Lower Manhattan — you can read the piece in its entirety here

Tags: robert simko, The Broadsheet

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