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Portland Mercury is an alternative bi-weekly newspaper and media company founded in 2000 in Portland, Oregon. The paper self reports the readership as affluent urbanites in their 20s and 30s. It had been published weekly until September 2018 before switching to bi-weekly. It serves to chronicle the Portland music scene, and generally includes interviews, commentaries, reviews, and concert dates. It has an "I, Anonymous" section, in which local readers are encouraged to submit anonymous, usually impassioned, and often incendiary letters to the city at large, and Dan Savage's syndicated advice column Savage Love. There are adult, abstract and surrealist comic strips such as Maakies by Tony Millionaire, Kaz's Underworld by Kaz, and Idiot Box by Matt Bors. The Mercury is similar in style to its sibling publication, Seattle, Washington's The Stranger.

Portland Mercury
Portland Mercury cover.jpg
TypeAlternative bi-weekly
Owner(s)Index Publishing
PublisherRob Thompson
EditorWm. Steven Humphrey
FoundedJune 2000
Headquarters115 SW Ash St., Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204
Circulation45,000 (as of June 2014)[1]

Contributors and staffEdit

Editor-in-Chief: Wm. Steven Humphrey
Executive Editor: Erik Henriksen
Senior Editors: Ned Lannamann, Ciara Dolan
News: Alex Zielinski, Blair Stenvick
Music: Ciara Dolan
Food: Andrea Damewood
Movies & TV: Erik Henriksen
Arts: Suzette Smith
Copy Chief: Jenni Moore
Calendar: Bobby Roberts, Chipp Terwilliger
Current list retrieved on April 6, 2019.[2]

Portland Mercury has published a number of notable[according to whom?] writers and personalities, including Chelsea Cain, Chuck Palahniuk, Dan Savage, David Schmader, and Sean Tejaratchi.


Portland Mercury publishes columns that often have a satirical or humorous tone. The publication's established columnists include Dan Savage, Ann Romano and Ian Karmel. The paper also often features fictional columns written by characters from pop culture or those created by members of the staff. These columns have included Elementary School Crime Blotter by Jerry Masterson, Imbecile Parade by Frank Cassano and One Hulk's Opinion by the Incredible Hulk. Portland Mercury also publishes I, Anonymous, in which readers can submit anonymous rants and anecdotes.


The current Portland Mercury was relaunched in June 2000.[3] The paper describes that their readers are affluent urbanites in 20s and 30s.[4] It was published weekly until fall 2018,[5] when it changed to bi-weekly, effective with the print edition of September 13, 2018.[6] The paper's name as shown by the nameplate was shortened to just Mercury (without "The Portland").[5][7]

The original MercuryEdit

A weekly newspaper called the Mercury, and later the Sunday Mercury, was founded in Salem in 1869,[8] and moved to Portland a few years later.[9] It was known for being the subject of a major libel lawsuit involving attorney and writer C.E.S. Wood. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled against O. P. Mason and B. P. Watson, and the newspaper itself was turned over to receiver A. A. Rosenthal. Rosenthal promised to "make a decent paper of it," but the paper was raided by the Portland district attorney's office later that year, and suppressed for publishing offensive material. An Oregonian article praised the plaintiffs for having "abolished a publication insidiously demoralizing as well as unspeakably offensive."[10]


  1. ^ "The Portland Mercury". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  2. ^ "Editorial". Portland Mercury. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  3. ^ Humphrey, Wm. Steven (June 1, 2000). "The Triumphant Return of The Mercury". Portland Mercury. Archived from the original on November 15, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  4. ^ "Ad-info". Mercury readers are affluent urbanites in their 20s and 30s with impressive disposable incomes and an appetite for everything the city has to offer.
  5. ^ a b Gormley, Shannon (May 24, 2018). "Starting This Fall, The Portland Mercury Will Publish a Paper Every Other Week". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on April 15, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  6. ^ Humphrey, Wm. Steven (September 12, 2018). "Good Morning, News: Merkley Spills the Tea, GOP in Serious November Trouble, and the New Biweekly Mercury". Portland Mercury. Archived from the original on January 24, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  7. ^ "Portland Mercury, News, Entertainment, Trouble". September 13, 2018. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  8. ^ Turnbull, George Stanley (1939). "Journalism in Salem" . History of Oregon Newspapers. Binfords and Mort.
  9. ^ Ludington, Flora Belle (1927). "The Newspapers of Oregon, 1846-1870". Oregon Historical Quarterly. 26.
  10. ^ Turnbull, George Stanley (1939). "Libel and Violence Bear Fruit" . History of Oregon Newspapers. Binfords and Mort.

External linksEdit