The Portland Mercury

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The Portland Mercury
The Portland Mercury (cover).jpg
TypeAlternative 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]

The Portland Mercury is an alternative weekly newspaper and media company founded in 2000 in Portland, Oregon. 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.

Contributors and staff[edit]

The Portland Mercury has published a number of notable writers and personalities, including Chelsea Cain, Paul Constant, Ian Karmel, Chuck Palahniuk, Eli Sanders, Dan Savage, David Schmader, and Sean Tejaratchi.

Past editors and reporters include Chas Bowie (arts editor), Phil Busse (managing editor), Ezra Ace Caraeff (music editor), Matthew Charles Davis (news reporter), Alison Hallett (arts editor), Katia Dunn (news reporter), Shelby R. King (news reporter), Sarah Mirk (news reporter), [Scott Moore (news editor), Zac Pennington (music editor), Amy J. Ruiz (news editor), Justin Wescoat Sanders (arts editor), Julianne Escobedo Shepherd (arts editrix), Katie Shimer (associate editor), Marjorie Skinner (managing editor), and Denis C. Theriault (news editor).

The Portland Mercury's publisher is Robert Thompson. The Portland Mercury's current editorial staff consists of Editor-in-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey, Managing Editor Erik Henriksen, Senior Editor Ned Lannamann, News Editor Alex Zielinski, News Reporter Blair Stenvick, Music Editor Ciara Dolan, Arts Editor Suzette Smith, Calendar Editor Bobby Roberts, and Copy Chief Jenni Moore.


The 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. The Portland Mercury also publishes I, Anonymous, in which readers can submit anonymous rants and anecdotes.

The original Mercury[edit]

A weekly newspaper called the Mercury, and later the Sunday Mercury, was founded in Salem in 1869,[2] and moved to Portland a few years later. 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."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Portland Mercury". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  2. ^ Turnbull, George Stanley (1939). "Journalism in Salem" . History of Oregon Newspapers . Binfords and Mort.
  3. ^ Turnbull, George Stanley (1939). "Libel and Violence Bear Fruit" . History of Oregon Newspapers . Binfords and Mort.

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