The Trib at 25: Looking back on two and a half decades of covering Tribeca

Carl Glassman and April Koral’s meet-cute took place on Stanton Street when they were both working in publishing in the mid ‘70s. Carl had come to the city from Oklahoma – the son of a cartoonist and a reporter. (At one point in her career, his mother was fired from the Tulsa Tribune after she published a jailhouse interview with a stripper who, by day, was secretary to a prominent preacher in town.) April was a native New Yorker, working as a journalist, and before long, the two were producing writing and photography projects as a team. By 1979 they were living together at IPN; by 1981 they were married.

As they got to know Tribeca, they realized it was really like a small town, with its own school, its own police precinct, its own little park – much like the town where Carl’s grandparents lived (Wellston, OK, population 800) which also had … its own local newspaper.

“And it had a sense of itself as a neighborhood,” said Carl. “And it had a name. Not every neighborhood had that. I’m living in this little town. Why can’t it have a paper?”

When the two started, The Trib was just another project that allowed them to collaborate. The couple had a Mac Plus at home and designed the paper at a computer rental spot on Franklin. Carl knew he wanted to bring a higher level of photography than usually found in the average local paper; April tried her hand at advertising and soon had sold her first ad to Bazzini. Kind of all of a sudden, they had a newspaper — and a good one. It was September 1994. (For the record, April is the publisher and Carl is the editor.)

“Everything we did was a project, it wasn’t about making money,” said Carl. “It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, let’s start this great business.’”

The first issue was 24 pages with a headline on the front page that read, “Will They Ever See the Light?” The issue? A traffic light for Hudson and N. Moore.

“That was a hot topic,” April remembered, and it was also not the only corner without a light – this was a Tribeca of another era. The neighborhood was full of controversies: at PS 234, parents complained that a science teacher was talking about sex; a developer wanted to build a movie theater in the Atalanta building; the city refused to release the funding for the Greening of Greenwich. (The latter was the first story, Carl said, where their work forced the city to take action.) And then of course the zoning battles began as more development came to the neighborhood.

“There was a fight on every corner,” said April.

The pair also sought to look behind the scenes at the people who made the neighborhood what it was – and what it was becoming. Every month they would try to feature a regular person – someone who wasn’t used to the spotlight, who was not as a rule recognized for her work. Sometimes they looked for those who struggled. “We were both attracted to the characters in the neighborhood, the non-celebrities. It was the antithesis of celebrity,” said April. (Most recently, Carl documented the workers building Pier 26 in Hudson River Park.)

“What I am trying to do is give credit to the people who actively build these places – to show what really goes into a project that the rest of us will enjoy for years,” he said.

They also relied on neighbors more than a few times – even right from the start. After ordering their first run of 8000 copies of the paper, they watched as an enormous truck rumbled down towards their 80-square-foot office. The Tribeca Studio Deli — now Benvenuto — stored the papers for them in a back room; later on, Cathy Drew at The River Project found space for them on the old Pier 26, then a derelict pier shed. Bob Townley once loaned them the Manhattan Youth van for distribution. And then after 9-11, not a single advertiser dropped, despite the challenges they faced keeping their own businesses afloat. “The kindness of the people in the neighborhood — it was amazing,” said Carl.

But the toughest personal challenge perhaps was in 2015, when they were faced with the decision to discontinue the print paper. Their lease was up and fewer readers sought out the large format tabloid on the thick paper they preferred. “It was a very hard decision to make. It was our baby,” said April.

Through it all they ran their business and their lives on the same streets. They raised two daughters, Kira and Thea, who were occasionally conscripted into the distribution business and, when they got a little older, to gather the notes for the police blotter at the 1st Precinct or review children’s theater. The family stayed at IPN as the neighborhood grew even taller.

If you have met either Carl or April, you can imagine they mean it when they say they’ve never had an argument, and they don’t criticize the other, even if there are moments when the other might have done things differently. (“We’re not temperamental. That personality trait comes in handy when you have to go home together,” said Carl.)

“We’re so spoiled, or at least we think we are so spoiled,” said April. “It’s fun to have a partner, to talk about things – that’s what made the paper fun, the fact that we’ve been doing it together.”

And they will keep doing just that. There are no pressing plans for the future, unless another project comes along. “The Tribeca Trib was a project too,” said Carl. “It just happened to last 25 years.”

Carl & April’s favorite Tribeca stories — to date
This list would not be complete without a mention of the Trib’s collection of historical pieces written by the late Oliver Allen, and the two books that are a compilation of his articles: “Tales of Old Tribeca” and “Tribeca: A Pictorial History.”



  1. Congratulations, Carl and April. You have helped make Tribeca what it is. Your work over a quarter of a century is the fabric of our neighborhood. You have been there to enlighten, reveal, expose, admire, explain. Yours is the exemplar of what a community newspaper should be. So many touchstones have been touched by you. So many important and meaningful changes to our home have been catalyzed by you. Thanks.

  2. Thank you for honoring Carl, April and the Trib- it really was our Hometown Paper.
    I still miss the print edition .

  3. Great story, this is what journalism really should be. Hope they go on for ever!! Congratulations to Carl & April.

  4. Congratulations Carl and April on 25 years of your insightful and excellent coverage of Tribeca. I miss the print edition, but I am happy that you are continuing your work with the online paper. It does give us the chance to see Carl’s wonderful video coverage of local events.

  5. Congratulations April and Carl. More than publish, they are true journalists. Unlike many publishers around town, they actually will print Letters to the Editor critical of their writings. They are truly an irreplaceable part of the local fabric. God bless.

  6. Congratulations Carl and April and thank you Pam for this wonderful and well deserved tribute. The Tribeca Trib gives the community its last vestige of a soul…

  7. Adding my gratitude and amazement at what you’ve accomplished over the last many years. You’ve kept your vision and commitment to a wonderful news source that many of us still turn to for the
    Daily News of Tribeca. Integral to your wonderful efforts, is the sense of community that you have provided in good times and bad. We are all the better for your steadfastness and devotion to the common good.

  8. Thank You April and Carl for being such a part of our lives and Congratulations! Kudos to Pam for reminding us that we are in their debt.

  9. Just want to add to the chorus by noting the Trib’s visual artistry. Always stunning photography and masterfully clear and pleasing presentation — graphic design at its finest!

  10. I always appreciated the Tribeca Trib but more importantly i love seeing Carl and April in the neighborhood and consider them to be old friends because of the Trib. It is true that everything is local. Thanks so much there for so long April and Carl. We just love your old tribeca pictorials most recently at APEX art on church street.