Orlando Weekly

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Orlando Weekly
Type Alternative weekly
Format Weekly
Owner(s) Euclid Media Group [3]
Publisher Michael Wagner
Editor Erin Sullivan
Headquarters 1505 E. Colonial Drive, suite 200, Orlando, FL, 32803
Circulation 40,000 [4]
Official website http://www.orlandoweekly.com

Orlando Weekly is an alternative newsweekly distributed in the Greater Orlando area of Florida. Every Thursday, 40,000 issues of the paper are distributed to more than 1,100 locations across Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. You can also find Orlando Weekly in more than 300 red street boxes (brown in downtown Orlando) in highly visible, well traveled areas around the region. More than 200,000 readers turn the paper each week for its calendar of events; coverage of the latest in movies, dining, local music and visual arts; and provocative stories on topics ranging from sports to sex to cyberspace to City Hall.[1]

The paper was founded in the 1980s as the Orange Shopper. It was purchased by the Toronto Sun [5], which changed its name to the Weekly and transformed it into a tabloid publication. The Weekly was later sold to the Detroit-based Alternative Media Inc., a publisher of alternative newsweekly Detroit Metro Times. Co-founder of Alternative Media Inc., Ron Williams [6], transformed the paper into not just a tabloid but an alternative news source dedicated to investigative journalism. In 1997, Alternative Media Inc. also purchased the San Antonio Current [7]; by 1998, the company was entertaining multiple offers for its stable of weeklies [8]. In 1999, the papers were purchased by their current owner, Times-Shamrock Communications [9], a privately held family company based in Scranton, Pa. Today Times-Shamrock owns five alternative newsweeklies: Baltimore City Paper [10], Detroit Metro Times [11], the Cleveland Scene [12], the San Antonio Current [13] and Orlando Weekly.

Over the years, Orlando Weekly has won numerous awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia,[2] including a 2009 first place award for investigative reporting for a story on corruption in the Orlando Police Department.[3] In 2012, the paper won second place for reporting on economic inequality [14] from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia.

In recent years, the paper has been critical of anti-homeless laws passed in Orlando [15], including a controversial city law that prohibits advocates for the homeless from feeding large groups of people in public spaces within two miles of Orlando's City Hall without a permit [16]. Orlando Weekly has also taken a decidedly critical stance on controversial Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott,[4] who took office in 2010, [17], as well as recent legislative efforts to pass laws that infringe on women's rights.[5]

In 2007, the paper ran afoul of Orlando's Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (a local multi-agency vice unit) when the MBI staged a raid on the publication and arrested three of its advertising representatives for allegedly "supporting prostitution:" The paper considers this act retaliation for past negative coverage of the agency.[6]

On Feb. 27, 2008, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation dropped all charges in the criminal case.[7]

Orlando Weekly organizes an annual feature Best of Orlando issue that features the best Orlando has to offer in dining, music and nightlife, arts and culture, goods and services. Each year more than 4,000 readers vote in the paper's readers poll to vote for their favorite Orlando restaurants, bars, boutiques, museums, local celebs and more.[8][9]

The paper also publishes an annual dining guide called BITE [18], which features capsule reviews of hundreds of area restaurants, and an Annual Manual [19], an insider's guide to the region.

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