The demise of the newsweekly Metro Pulse at the hands of its parent company, E.W. Scripps, two months ago, was painful for both its staff and its Knoxville readership. For many—and there is actual evidence to support this—Metro Pulse was the voice of the Knoxville downtown’s miraculous revitalization and of Knoxville’s cultural scene. Its closure seemed to leave a gaping hole in Knoxville’s life and a dead-end for many of Knoxville’s small business advertisers.
Happily, those two months were not without significant progress being made on an entity to take the place of Metro Pulse, both in spirit and reality. Participants in the most recent staffing of Metro Pulse have joined with some dedicated and interested parties in Knoxville to create a somewhat rare, but not unheard of, enterprise—the Knoxville History Project—a new non-profit organization that will support a for-profit weekly newspaper to be called the Knoxville Mercury. The goal is to “ensure the new enterprise’s long-term sustainability with a combination of public, private, and commercial revenue sources.” (Check the Knoxville History Project link above for information on its other goals and activities.)
Jack Neely, who had served as Associate Editor of Metro Pulse for most of its life, will be the Executive Director of the Knoxville History Project and will continue to write his immensely popular column in the new paper. Coury Turczyn will return as Editor and Matthew Everett will return as A&E Editor. Tricia Bateman has come on as Art Director; Jerry Collins will be the Business Manager.
Most of the contributing writers will return, including yours truly as the Knoxville Mercury‘s classical music critic.
The paper is aiming for a mid-February first issue.
Because the project will depend on a variety of revenue sources, a Kickstarter campaign is underway to get the first year off to a start. You can visit that Kickstarter page here.