Willamette Week
TypeAlternative weekly
Owner(s)City of Roses Newspapers
PublisherMark Zusman[1] (2015–)
EditorMark Zusman
FoundedNovember 1974
Headquarters2220 NW Quimby St.
Portland, OR 97210
Circulation50,000-55,000 (self-reported circulation in 2019)

Willamette Week (WW) is an alternative weekly newspaper and a website published in Portland, Oregon, United States, since 1974. It features reports on local news, politics, sports, business, and culture.

Willamette Week is the only weekly newspaper to have had one of its reporters, Nigel Jaquiss, win a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.[2] It is also the first newspaper to have won a Pulitzer for a story first published online.


Early history

Willamette Week was founded in 1974 by Ronald A. Buel, who served as its first publisher.[3] It was later owned by the Eugene Register-Guard, which sold it in the fall of 1983 to Richard H. Meeker and Mark Zusman,[4] 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.[3] 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.[4]


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.[4] WW increased circulation to 90,000 copies by 2007.[5] Circulation has declined to 50,000 by March 2020.[6]

In June 2015, Richard Meeker stepped down as Willamette Week's publisher, after more than 31 years in the position.[7][8] Editor Mark Zusman succeeded him as publisher, while also retaining the editorship.[8][9] Meeker planned to continue working for the City of Roses Newspaper Company, WW's owner.[7][9]


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Prior to his death in 2010, cartoonist John Callahan's long-running comic "Callahan" appeared weekly in the paper, for almost 30 years.[10]


Since 1984, the paper has been free; as of 2007 over 80% of its revenue was generated through display advertising.[5] For 2007, its revenue was 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 attributed to competition from Craigslist.[5] Its pre-tax profit in 2006 was around 5%, a third to a half of what large mass-media companies require.[5]

Notable stories

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Notable stories first reported by WW include:


A number of notable journalists, writers and artists have worked at Willamette Week over the past several decades, including:

See also


  1. ^ "Contact Us". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  2. ^ "The 2005 Pulitzer Prize Winners - Investigative Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. 2005. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Bellotti, Mary (April 25, 1999). "Alternative success story". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Nicholas, Jonathan (January 9, 1984). "Free, and fresh, weekly". The Oregonian, p. B1.
  5. ^ a b c d "At Age 33, 'Willamette Week' Has Best Year Ever For Display Ads, Publisher Says". Editor & Publisher. November 16, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Mesh, Aaron (March 14, 2020). "Portland Mercury Halts Print Editions Amid Coronavirus Shutdowns". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  7. ^ a b "WW Has A New Publisher". Willamette Week. June 11, 2015. Archived from the original on June 15, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Meeker, Richard H. (June 17, 2015). "To Our Readers [editorial]". Willamette Week. p. 5. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Walker, Mason (June 12, 2015). "Willamette Week publisher steps down". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  10. ^ "A fresh look and future memorial to John Callahan at Legacy Good Samaritan Park (photos)". The Oregonian. July 19, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  11. ^ Griffin, Anna (January 25, 2009). "Sam Adams decides to stay put; can Portland move on?". The Oregonian. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  12. ^ Mapes, Jeff (September 10, 2008). "Willamette Week raises illegal immigration issue at Gordon Smith's frozen-food plant". oregonlive. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  13. ^ Slovic, Beth (September 10, 2008). "Señor Smith". Willamette Week. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  14. ^ Boulé, Margie (January 31, 2011). "Neil Goldschmidt's sex-abuse victim tells of the relationship that damaged her life". The Oregonian. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  15. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel (May 12, 2004). "The 30-Year Secret". Willamette Week. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  16. ^ Johnson, Kirk; Paulson, Michael (February 16, 2015) [published online February 15]. "Oregon Governor and Fiancée Walked Tangled Path to Exit". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "Phil Keisling". Hatfield School of Government: Center for Public Service. Portland State University. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  18. ^ Sorg, Lisa (2012-08-22). "Steve Schewel announces sale of Independent Weekly". INDY Week. Retrieved 2019-10-20.