A weekly broadsheet, the newspaper is known for its traditional layout and in-depth coverage of the unions representing civil servents, though its coverage has raised the ire of several union leaders including Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch for focusing on the low starting pay for police officers and Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint for highlighting his supression of dissent within his union.
At one point, Lynch stopped speaking to The Chief's reporters and instead invested $50,000 of his union's dues money into full-page ads attacking the paper. This issue was covered by the Village Voice.
Its current editor, Richard Steier, writes a weekly column called "Razzle Dazzle" and has also written about sports, especially horse racing.
Its most popular features are the listing of job certifications and articles on job openings in the city government.
The newspaper is owned by the Prial family and it prides itself on its traditional style. It did not go from an eight-column to a six-column format until 2008 and its reporters used typewriters well into the 1990s. Also, unlike many major newspapers and magazines, it has been resisted web technology, restricting access to stories for up to four weeks only to its subscribers who pay an additional fee to access the website.