KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Interest in publishing a new alternative newspaper in Knoxville has sparked over the last several months since the abrupt closure of Metro Pulse in October.
The closure of the alt-weekly newspaper by the E.W Scripps Company was something former employees said they didn’t see coming.
“We were flabbergasted,” former Metro Pulse associate editor Jack Neely said. “We were shocked.”
Neely worked for Metro Pulse for 19 years.
“We knew that they didn’t like us much but we didn’t know the plug was going to be pulled so soon,” Neely said.
Neely said he is now one of three former Metro Pulse workers who gave up their severance pay in order to start a new independent newspaper called Knoxville Mercury.
“This is something I think Knoxville needs, to have an independent source of news and cultural commentary,” Neely said.
Like Metro Pulse, Knoxville Mercury will be a weekly publication offered in both print and online.
“The Knoxville Mercury will be similar to Metro Pulse in some ways it won’t be exactly the same but we’re still going to have the in-depth stories we used to have in terms of news and historical coverage,” Neely said.
Neely said Knoxville Mercury plans to officially start its publication by March.
Knoxville Mercury will be a for-profit subsidiary of The Knoxville History Project, a non-profit run by Neely.
Another new weekly alternative newspaper called Hard Knox Independent is getting ready to launch its new publication.
Former Knoxville News Sentinel reporter J.J. Stambaugh is the editor for the new publication.
“I think there’s a desire in the community for an alternative voice,” Hard Knox Independent publisher Crystal Huskey said.
Huskey said Hard Knox Independent has a team of around nine people working on it in addition to around a dozen freelance columnists.
“We’ll be covering a lot of music and entertainment,” Huskey said. “What we have to offer is a variety of voices. We’ll be covering things that aren’t often discussed in the news. We’ll be looking in depth into issues.”
Huskey said Hard Knox Independent will release its first publication the third week of January.