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Memphis Flyer

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Memphis Flyer
Memphis Flyer newspaper dispenser
at the University of Memphis
TypeAlternative weekly
Owner(s)Contemporary Media, Inc.
Founder(s)Kenneth Neill
PublisherContemporary Media, Inc.
EditorShara Clark
Associate editorToby Sells
Managing editorSamuel X. Cicci
Staff writersMichael Donahue, Jon W. Sparks
FoundedFebruary 14, 1989
Headquarters65 Union Avenue, 2nd Floor
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
United States
CityMemphis, TN
CountryUnited States of America
Sister newspapersMemphis Magazine
OCLC number57010949
Free online archiveshttps://issuu.com/contemporarymedia/stacks/fc48c538ed954050beb06a48c4948f60

The Memphis Flyer is a free weekly alternative newspaper serving the greater Memphis, Tennessee, area.[1] The Flyer covers Memphis news, politics, music, entertainment, sports, food, and spirits.[2]

The Flyer was founded February 14, 1989[3][4] by Kenneth Neill. The current editor is Shara Clark.[5] She was preceded in the role by Jesse Davis, who took over for Bruce VanWyngarden, the editor of the flyer from 2001-2021, on May 12, 2021.[6]

The Flyer is a publication of Contemporary Media, Inc. which also publishes Memphis Magazine,[7] Memphis Parent, and Inside Memphis Business. The current CEO of Contemporary Media is Anna Traverse Fogle.[8][9]

The Memphis Flyer is distributed throughout the Mid-South on Wednesday morning. The Flyer touts that they have 600-plus distribution points. (see External Links) The paper touts that it has more than 222,000 regular readers. Exact circulation numbers are unclear.

Traditionally, free publications have used advertisements in order to pay for their publications. With alt-weeklies, that often meant running ads from risqué sources, sometimes including paid escorts. In a 2003 interview, VanWyngarden stated that the Flyer began refusing ads from anyone who was not a "legally licensed business" by the mid 1990s.[10]

In October 2019, Kroger stores stopped allowing free newspapers and magazines to be distributed via their stores. Nationwide, they removed the racks and informed the publications of the change. The Flyer reported at the time that they moved 9,000 papers weekly through Kroger stores alone.[11]

During COVID-19, the Flyer changed to bi-weekly circulation.[12] "We will print the April 2nd issue of the Flyer. Our next print issue after April 2nd will be April 16th, and we will proceed on a biweekly schedule thereafter. We plan to reevaluate our status and the community’s status in June, and to consider ramping back up to a weekly schedule at that time."[13] While cutting back on its circulation, the paper worked to help keep local artists afloat by creating a coloring book campaign. The proceeds were split equally between the contributing artists and the Flyer.[14] The initiative was popular enough to be continued in 2021,[15] but it does not appear to have carried forward.

The Flyer's website, Memphisflyer.com, features daily posts of local news, politics, music, food, and entertainment. Content from the Flyer's weekly print edition is posted on Thursday morning. Back issues for the prior year can be viewed via issuu (see External Links).


  1. ^ "Local Newspapers | Shelby County, TN - Official Website". www.shelbycountytn.gov. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  2. ^ Finlayson, Rebecca (2008). Insiders' Guide to Memphis (4th ed.). Globe Pequot. p. 277. ISBN 9780762748662.
  3. ^ Neill, Kenneth (2019-07-25). "A Brave New World — And the Memphis Flyer Jumped Right Into It 30 Years Ago | Time will tell how much Memphians still care about local journalism". Memphis Magazine. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  4. ^ "Memphis Flyer". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2023-12-26.
  5. ^ Traverse Fogle, Anna (2022-11-02). "Announcing Several Flyer Promotions | Say hello to Shara Clark, the new editor of the Memphis Flyer". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  6. ^ Traverse Fogle, Anna (2021-05-12). "The Memphis Flyer Announces Its New Editor". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  7. ^ Burnham, Maria (2010-08-16). "Magazine Keeps Emphasis On 'Business'". Memphis Daily News. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  8. ^ "Anna Traverse Fogle | LinkedIn". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  9. ^ Tilleros, Holly (2021-04-23). "From Harvard to Home: Anna Traverse Fogle Shares Her Professional Journey". Collierville Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  10. ^ Schaffer, Sarah. "Alt-weeklies Play Hard to Get with Adult Ads". American Journalism Review. 25 (1): 16.
  11. ^ Ellis, Susan (2019-08-23). "Kroger to remove free magazines, newspapers from its stores". Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  12. ^ "Memphis Flyer moving to biweekly print publication". Daily Memphian. 2020-03-30. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  13. ^ Traverse Fogle, Anna (2020-03-30). "Flyer to Print Bi-Weekly, Offers Home Delivery". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  14. ^ "Memphis Flyer Coloring Book". Memphis: The City Magazine | Store. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  15. ^ Traverse Fogle, Anna (2021-05-31). "Call for Artists: The Second Annual Memphis Flyer Coloring Book". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 2023-07-19.

External links[edit]