Knoxville’s Metro Pulse Weekly Silenced by Owner Scripps After 23 Years

Support Knoxville's future by seeking ways to save its alternative weekly, the Metro Pulse.

Support Knoxville’s future by seeking ways to save its alternative weekly, the Metro Pulse.

I just heard the devastating news that Scripps has decided to pull the plug on Knoxville’s alternative weekly paper, the Metro Pulse, after the issue that hits the stands today. Since August 1991, the Metro Pulse has been this area’s essential and quite successful community voice for the arts, entertainment, political opinion, and thoughtful questioning of local and state government. It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, we need all the thoughtful local opinion and editorial commentary we can get.

And Knoxville is now risking the silencing of a talented group of writers that include: Jack Neely, Coury Turczyn, Paige Huntoon, Frank Cagle, Joe Sullivan, Donna Johnson, and all the other thought-provoking writers and contributors who have given our city the community voice it desperately needs. In all, 23 staff are being laid off and WBIR-TV is reporting that the Metro Pulse staff have been told not to speak to the local media or they will risk losing their severance packages. Unconscionable, Scripps, who touts itself as being in the information business. What a low blow to lay off the independent voice of Knoxville with no warning. It will be interesting to see how the Knoxville News Sentinel, also owned by Scripps, reports this story.

Everyone who cares about the Knoxville community having a vehicle for intelligent thought, please brainstorm with me some ideas about how we can save our weekly paper. My early thoughts: a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds perhaps backed by a group of angel investors. There must be a solution to ensure that Knoxville continues to have the independent voice we have enjoyed for the last 23 years. We have some extraordinary talent on the Metro Pulse staff, so let’s not lose them to this short-sighted thinking on the part of Scripps.

Sadly any reincarnated alternative paper would need to change its name since I’m told Scripps will not allow the use of the weekly’s name, Metro Pulse. I am not sure why they are taking this stance since they did not start the paper 23 years ago. Our alternative paper’s identity really should belong to Knoxville not to a corporation that has shown how little it regards this city, or any city, in its grasping for the highest profit margin. Perhaps the new weekly could be called Metro Voice, Knox Vox, but whatever it’s called, I can’t imagine living without my weekly fix of intelligent reporting.

Sooooo, please share your thoughts, friends who care about Knoxville’s future. And let the Pulse staff know how much you appreciate them and hope they will stick around for whatever we hope can happen next.

Anna // 10/16/2014
Reporting on my iPad, so please forgive any mistakes, kind readers!

About aamontgomery

Seeing new possibilities in everyday things
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5 Responses to Knoxville’s Metro Pulse Weekly Silenced by Owner Scripps After 23 Years

  1. kevin says:

    I agree with you Anna – quite a loss. I viewed MP as an independent progressive voice, my entertainment guide as well as news tidbits both local and national that I wouldn’t have known if it weren’t for MP. I honestly believe that MP demise creates a void that will be quickly filled by somebody with more passion and less corporate accounting.

    • aamontgomery says:

      I agree with you wholeheartedly Kevin! MP was my entertainment guide as well, and I look forward to snagging an “early” copy on Wednesday!! I am cheered by your thinking that someone else will step forward to provide the funding to fill the void and I hope that effort includes the MP staff! Thanks for reading and commenting!! Anna

  2. Rusty says:

    Rusty Odom from BLANK Newspaper here. We’ve been the independent paper in town (other than a few times when a new paper would come in) for seven years and we’ve already reached out to a few folks who lost their livelihoods due to the closing of the Metro Pulse. We are doing a cover story on the Metropulse in our next issue and if you’d like to contribute with a testimonial or story, please let us know. We’re here to carry the torch. We’re also putting together a big show where we hope to celebrate the history of Metropulse and donate the proceeds to the school of journalism from a few local college’s. We’ll keep you posted.

    • aamontgomery says:

      Rusty, I am so glad to hear from you and get the lowdown on BLANK. Two things: you give me hope that Knoxville will continue to have an alternative source for intelligent writing, investigative pieces, and feature articles, and I am ashamed that I did not better investigate what you guys have been up to for the last seven years. On the hope front: kudos to you guys for investigating the MP story, and what a relief to know there is an existing independent paper to provide the essential community forum and voice that is vital to any city worth its salt. I would be pleased to contribute a story or testimonial to your next issue.

      Thanks so much for contacting me and for keeping me posted about your progress!


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