After being closed down last month by parent company Portico Publications, then sold to a new owner, Augusta alt-weekly Metro Spirit is once again being published.
A week after being shut down by Virginia based owners Portico Publications, the Metro Spirit has been purchased by former Sales Director and Publisher Joe White.
Portico Publications has announced the immediate closing of its Augusta, Ga. publication Metro Spirit, which published its final issue today.
As the Augusta, Ga., alt-weekly celebrates its 20th anniversary, reporter Angel Cleary talks to "the only person, save founder David Vantrease, who has been around for the entire history" of the paper: senior music contributor Ed Turner. He discusses what Metro Spirit has meant to the music scene, how much the paper has grown over the years and how he got his column started. "I freelanced starting with the first issue of the Spirit," Turner says. "It was, of course, B.C. (before computers) and (get ready for this) I did not know how to type. And I barely do now! David and Lisa Smith (who was Spirit editor for the first five years or so) agreed to accept handwritten columns from me, which I would slip in the mail slot."
Stacy Eidson returns to her hometown of Augusta, Ga., to take the helm of the paper where she previously served for eight years as a reporter, according to a press release issued this morning by Metro Spirit. Eidson will be leaving the daily Bradenton Herald in southwest Florida for the position with the 20-year-old Spirit. She will be taking over for Tom Grant, who recently announced that he would be stepping down in late July.
Tom Grant, who has edited the Augusta, Ga., alt-weekly since October 2005, will be leaving his post in late July. "The last four years have been an exciting time for Metro Spirit and we've accomplished a lot together," Grant says in a statement. "Metro Spirit is ready for a new voice and the paper and I have agreed that it's a good time for someone new to write the next chapter of Spirit's history." The paper is currently undertaking a nationwide search for a replacement.
Tom Grant was presented with the 2009 Louis Harris Award by the The Augusta West Rotary Club yesterday. The award honors the memory of Harris, a community leader and longtime editor of The Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Herald.
Last week, we noted that the Augusta Chronicle ran a house ad targeting advertisers who bypassed the daily and bought space in the city's alt-weekly. "We heard nothing about it locally from customers or readers, and skipped over it a number of times as we perused the paper," writes Metro Spirit publisher Bryan Osborn. "All of this points to the fact that buying full pages in The Chronicle is as effective as throwing money into a burning fireplace." He says the daily's ad "is a great advertising testimonial ... for Metro Spirit."
According to the Buzz on Biz blog, last week the Augusta Chronicle ran a half-page ad targeting businesses that placed ads only with that city's AAN-member paper, the Metro Spirit. It tried to persuade ad buyers that by ignoring the daily, they were missing out on 104,000 readers. "It is the first time in memory that the Chronicle has named a competitor by name," Buzz on Biz reports.