Data monkey, AC Entertainment,
“It seems self-
explanatory why anyone would want to be involved with this. A successful Kickstarter to fund a print weekly? Wow.”
Metro Pulse co-founder/long-time IT wizard/crossword puzzle maestro Ian Blackburn established the Mercury’s infrastructure of computer stuff. And explained it to us. And got the server to say “monkey.”
“The closing of Metro Pulse left
a void in this community, one that needs to be filled. I suspect that
the Knoxville Mercury is going to leave a significant imprint on the landscape of this community for a long time to come.”
A pro bono legal consultation with Blakney convinced the Mercury’s editorial principles that they might as well shred their severance offers from E.W. Scripps (and the non-compete clauses they contained) and start their own stinking paper.
Developer, Dewhirst Properties
“I remember reading the first couple of articles where Metro Pulse talked about a little building or loft that I put together. Before, I was just some dude at the bar, and now
I had all kinds of conversations that I never would have had otherwise. It made you want to do it more, because you knew it was appreciated. Metro Pulse really told that story and helped me realize that other people appreciated it.”
Besides a stirring public testimonial on our behalf at the initial Mercury launch announcement in December, Dewhirst also donated the use of his cool Jackson Avenue event space, the Standard, for a fund-raising dinner.
Chief product officer, Survature
“We all need to support the Knoxville Mercury, because it supports us.”
Chin’s innovative online survey company allowed us to get valuable feedback from readers before we launched the paper. (There’s a new survey running now—visit survature.com/s/knoxmercury.)
David Doyle, Web designer
“I didn’t throw in my lot with the Mercury because I’m nice. I signed on because a lot of good people, friends and mentors and strangers alike, stood to lose out because someone else couldn’t figure out how they do what they do. That didn’t sit well with me. I figured I could either stay up until 4 a.m learning PHP and helping to build out a Web infrastructure or I could stay up until 6 a.m. hating that I hadn’t.”
Doyle, who used to write award-winning video-game reviews for Metro Pulse (and whom we hope to convince to do the same for the Mercury) has served as our IT/website specialist for the last several months.
Chef, Knox Mason
“Honestly, Jack Neely’s name attached to the Mercury was enough. I just thought it was important to have that voice again.”
We suspect it was the food served by Gallaher, not the opportunity to rub shoulders with reclusive and introverted editors and writers, that convinced people to shell out $100 for a fancy Mercury fund-raiser in January.
Meredith and Scott Layton
Buttermilk Sky Pie
Meredith: “I just happened to be looking at my social media one morning and thought, oh,
we could help in that effort. That’s exciting! It’s neat to hear that that spirit
is still alive in town. It tells a lot about Knoxville’s spirit.”
The Laytons spontaneously offered, via Twitter, to donate 10 percent of one Saturday’s sales to the Mercury—one of the most unexpected offers of support we received.
“I wanted to stick with these guys and see what would happen. I didn’t go running to somebody else or go wave my hand at the News Sentinel or anything like that, because I thought, if there’s any way that this publication can come back, it’s got such a following, I’ll do whatever I can to help it get to where it’s going.”
Luttrell has served as the unofficial staff photographer for the startup phase of Knoxville Mercury.
Nadeem and Shadab, Siddiqi
Nadeem: “I think Metro Pulse is such an institution—part of the fabric and culture of the community. It was a shock to all of us, so we were collectively scrambling to figure out how to preserve this. It was a natural fit—we had some space in the building and we thought it would be fun to have you guys close to us.”
The owners of the Walnut Building, one of downtown Knoxville’s few mid-century gems, have provided free office space for the Mercury startup—another completely unforeseen windfall.
President, AlcoPro Drug and Alcohol Testing Products
“I always loved Metro Pulse. I loved the political news—it was one of
the only sources in town for it, for reading about the way things really are.”
Singleton’s donation of desks, chairs, bookcases, and a conference table forced the Mercury staff to finally get off the couch, get dressed, and go to the office.
“When I saw the sacrifices that Metro Pulse’s erstwhile editors were making to perpetuate its mission, it was compelling for me to join the many others who have rallied to support their worthy endeavor.”
Sullivan guided Metro Pulse from its nascent years through to its establishment as a community fixture, from 1992 to 2003.
Executive director, Knox Heritage
“The type of coverage that Metro Pulse contained is important to the communities that we
work with and we want to see that continue and be even stronger than before.”
Trent gave us a crash course in fundraising and introduced us to the complexities of nonprofit law. Her unflagging enthusiasm and unwavering confidence convinced us to keep going, even though it’s all been very complicated.
“I believe that our town should have at least one actual newspaper.”
A former Metro Pulse movie reviewer,
Weisfeld sponsored our fundraising dinner party at the Standard.
Media consultant and former Rolling Stone publisher
“As a reader, I loved Metro Pulse. I looked to Metro Pulse for more depth in terms of what was happening, and a perspective on it. From an advertiser’s standpoint, I think it’s the only resource in town for the independent businessman and for the boutiques and the smaller restaurants and the olive-oil store and all those kinds of things that are really cool when you’re introduced to them, but if somebody doesn’t tell you about them, or you don’t read about them, you don’t know. I picked up Metro Pulse as much because of who was advertising.” Hummell, a veteran of Whittle Communications, gave us sound advice on presenting our plan to potential supporters. He also came up with one of the best lines to describe what we’re trying to do: “Other papers are just in business to make money. We’re in business to make a community.”
Senior Editor Matthew Everett manages the Knoxville Mercury's arts & entertainment section, including the comprehensive calendar section—Knoxville’s go-to guide for everything worth doing in the area. You can reach Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org.