|Owner||City of Roses Newspapers|
Willamette Week is the only weekly newspaper to have one of its reporters win a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. It was the first newspaper to win a Pulitzer for a story that it first published online. During 2007, WW had more 18- to 34-year-old Portland-area readers than the weekly editions of The Oregonian and its weekly arts and entertainment publication, "A&E."
Early history 
Willamette Week was founded in 1974 by Ron Buel, who was its first publisher. It was later owned by the Eugene Register-Guard, which sold it in fall 1983 to Richard Meeker and Mark Zusman, who took the positions of publisher and editor, respectively. Meeker had been one of the paper's first reporters, starting in 1974, and Zusman had joined the paper as a business writer in 1982. Meeker and Zusman formed City of Roses Newspaper Company to publish WW and a sister publication, Fresh Weekly, a free guide to local arts and entertainment. WW had a paid circulation at that time, with about 12,000 subscribers. A major change was made in January 1984, when Fresh Weekly was merged into WW, the paper's print run was increased to 50,000 and paid circulation was discontinued, with WW thereafter being distributed free.
As part of its news coverage, WW features the "Rogue of the Week", in which a recent action by a local person or organization is criticized. It also spotlights "Winners and losers", recapping major news events of the week, from the perspective of who benefited and who did not.
Prior to his death in 2010, the paper published "Callahan", a long-standing comic by John Callahan.
Since 1984, the paper has been free; it generates over 80% of its revenue through display advertising. For 2007, its revenue is expected to be about $6.25 million, a four or five percent increase over 2006, a growth that occurred in spite of a significant decline in classified advertising that the publisher attributes to competition from Craigslist. Its pre-tax profit is around 5%, a third to a half of what large mass media companies require.
A number of notable journalists, writers and artists have worked at Willamette Week over the past three decades including:
- Mark Christensen, author of Acid Christ
- Larry Colton, author of Goat Brothers and No Ordinary Joes
- Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief
- Carlton Smith, author of more than two dozen true crime books
- G. Pascal Zachary, author of Married to Africa and The Diversity Advantage
- Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
- Anthony Bianco, author of Rainmaker and The Big Lie
- Chris Lydgate, author of Lee's Law
- John Callahan, cartoonist
Notable stories 
Notable stories first reported by WW include:
|Wikinews has related news: Portland, Oregon mayor admits to sexual relationship he previously denied|
- In 2009, Reporting that then-City Commissioner Sam Adams had a sexual relationship with legislative intern Beau Breedlove. Rumors of a relationship with the underage intern had circulated during Adams' campaign for Mayor, but Adams denied any sexual relationship. After Willamette Week contacted Adams for comment on an upcoming story, Adams admitted publicly that there was a sexual relationship, but not until after Breedlove had turned 18, and that Adams had lied about the relationship to avoid feeding the negative perception of gay men.
- In 2008, the paper revealed that Gordon Smith, the junior United States Senator and one of the wealthiest men in Congress, employed undocumented workers at his frozen food processing operation in Eastern Oregon. Smith, a Republican, had been a fierce opponent of illegal immigration and had voted against an amnesty bill. Two months later, Smith lost a reelection bid, credited in part to this story.
- Making public Neil Goldschmidt's long-concealed sexual misconduct with a fourteen-year-old girl. Goldschmidt, a former Oregon Governor, was mayor of Portland at the time of the abuse. After the Willamette Week contacted him for comments on their impending story, Goldschmidt confessed to the relationship in an interview published in the Oregonian before the Week story was set to print, in order to preempt its publication. However, the alternative weekly first broke the story on its website. Nigel Jaquiss won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for his work on the story.
See also 
- The Santa Fe Reporter, also published by Richard Meeker and Mark Zusman
- The Portland Mercury, the Willamette Week's rival newspaper, founded in 2000
- "Willamette Week". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Retrieved 2007-02-23.
- The paper's Pulitzer Prize from the Pulitzer Prize website
- At Age 33, Willamette Week Has Best Year Ever For Display Ads, Publisher Says, a November 2006 article from Editor & Publisher
- Bellotti, Mary (April 25, 1999). "Alternative success story". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Nicholas, Jonathan (January 9, 1984). "Free, and fresh, weekly". The Oregonian, p. B1.
- Griffin, Anna (2009-01-25). "Sam Adams decides to stay put; can Portland move on?". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- "Neil Goldschmidt's sex-abuse victim tells of the relationship that damaged her life". The Oregonian. 2011-01-31.
- Jaquiss, Nigel (May 12, 2004). "The 30 Year Secret". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2006-12-16.