Metro Spirit stops publishing

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Portico Publications announced it would close Metro Spirit and Metro Parent, saying sustained financial performance had eluded the publications. The publication's final issue was published Wednesday.

The closing will affect eight full-time and two part time employees.

Bill Chapman, chairman of Portico's management team, said the lagging economy and troubled newspaper industry were not to blame.

"In our case, the problem seemed to be particular to the local Augusta economy," he said. "We have two other papers, one in Columbia and one in Charlottesville, which are doing fine."

Metro Spirit is a weekly publication founded in 1989, Chapman said. Portico Publications acquired the paper in 2006.

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TK3
562
Points
TK3 03/02/11 - 04:53 pm
0
0
If the ad revenue falls below

If the ad revenue falls below costs for long (for whatever reason), paper has no choice but to close. Sad to see the other viewpoint go.

Einstein
0
Points
Einstein 03/02/11 - 05:29 pm
0
0
I think they screwed up when

I think they screwed up when they moved to that large building downtown... They used to have such little overhead, and they blew their profits on a big office they couldn't afford. Bet you anything they would still be in business if they hadn't made that one, major mistake.

Yo398
0
Points
Yo398 03/02/11 - 05:33 pm
0
0
I always wondered how the

I always wondered how the Spirit found room to live. "Alternative news" means material that is off the beaten path and even occasionally shocking, but in large Augustans are just not interested in that. Perhaps you need a big university to make the alternative thing viable.

The Spirit had some luck with investigative reporting, but that is expensive and has been absent in the last year or so. Yes the Chronicle is a big target, but if it was that bad, or if people really cared very much, the Spirit could have let the readers carry the load on that. Whatever they said themselves sounded like sour grapes.

As far as the Verge, I wish them luck, but how far can you go just touting your advertisers? IMO there needs to be a complete change in direction for the Verge to actually become interesting and/or relevant, and there is no indication it will respond to fill this vacuum.

I now go back to reading the latest freetimes, Columbia's free weekly, with 78 pages chock full of ads and interesting copy, owned by Portico Publications.

david jennings
625
Points
david jennings 03/02/11 - 05:33 pm
0
0
I have to agree with Brad and

I have to agree with Brad and Emerydan.I stopped reading the sprit after it changed,I liked the old one.And yes Sylvia Cooper is the best.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 03/02/11 - 06:30 pm
0
0
The one thing everyone in

The one thing everyone in Augusta can agree on.... Sylvia Cooper is the best.

Brad Owens
5224
Points
Brad Owens 03/02/11 - 07:57 pm
0
0
The company might be based in

The company might be based in VA (I thought it was PA) but the folks running it were Yankees mostly. Augusta is an Old South conservative town with a unique art flair in our downtown. Plus we have MCG (or whatever is is called now), Ft. Gordon, SRS, and a lot of medical centers and yankee drawing jobs and schools, yet the VAST majority do not buy into that line of thought.

Plus, what happened to the Spirit being the REAL other newspaper in our town?

No news really anymore and nothing that you can't get someplace else either.

I also agree thier online stuff was slow, boring, and not enough. YOu would have thought an "alternative" would have had the dge on the AC online, but nope.

corgimom
51590
Points
corgimom 03/02/11 - 09:13 pm
0
0
"And how can a dying town

"And how can a dying town ranked 4th in the nation in private sector job growth(btw September 2009-September 2010)& lead the state of GA in job growth last year?"

The same way that the county can have a growing number of foreclosures, and it's not over yet.

The same way they can have big layoffs not only at SRS, but a call center that loses 247 jobs.

The same way that a business owner on Broad St, that has been in business many years, can have a house fire and not have any insurance, because she can't afford it.

The same way that a government can't figure out after 15 years who can do what.

Augusta is a government town. The local, state, and Fed government provide most of the wage base. And those numbers aren't growing.

And that's a cause for deep concern. The private sector jobs do not pay as well as the government jobs or have as valuable of benefits.

You can have all the new job growth you want, but if the average wage drops, a municipality is in trouble.

obkad
235
Points
obkad 03/02/11 - 09:32 pm
0
0
Sad but not unexpected. It

Sad but not unexpected. It was a great publication for years after it started. The last few years, beginning with Tom Grant and on...not so good. They found it more important to be hip than interesting.

Can't sell advertising? No wonder...they contacted my company 2 years ago about an ad. Gave me a decent price for an ad to run 2 months. First month, they published the ad full of errors since they did not bother to get us to proof it first. They did not charge us, how kind. Next ad was right, next ad...gee, they left it out of that issue. After repeated emails and calls to the gal that sold the ad, and others at the office, and No real response, I figured the end would come soon enough. It's okay to advertise for bars, but there is a big demographic out there that wants news, politics, and ads that do not look like a Penthouse cutout.

bclicious
888
Points
bclicious 03/02/11 - 11:30 pm
0
0
Yes, I would definitely sum

Yes, I would definitely sum this one up to Karma. The metro-spirit has continually printed false stories without checking the credibility of its sources. It was downright poor journalism. I do believe in reporting the news and even printing articles with opinions; however, I do not believe in lying.

The metro-spirit was nothing more than a tabloid, and I for one am glad to see it GONE, GONE, GONE!!!!

YankeeInvasion
0
Points
YankeeInvasion 03/03/11 - 05:10 am
0
0
Brad, it's wasn't the Yankees

Brad, it's wasn't the Yankees running the paper in the ground. Trust me. The yankees are still as effiencent as they were on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox.
If you spent even a couple months "Up Nawth" you would be amazed at how much more effiecient people and businesses are than down here. But if you don't feel like traveling to Damnedyankee land, give or take 10-20 years, the Great Yankee Migration will be complete in the south, and we'll get you boys straightened out soon enough.

Iamacyclist
0
Points
Iamacyclist 03/03/11 - 07:58 am
0
0
Thee shouldst not throw

Thee shouldst not throw Stones, who hast a Head of Glass thyself. ‥Thee canst have no Title to Honesty who lendest the writings to deceive Neighbour Barter.

Good riddance to such negativity; either Kentucky or the left coast are waiting for ya :)

knighttime
1
Points
knighttime 03/03/11 - 09:12 am
0
0
my heart is broken, my love

my heart is broken, my love is gone. who is going to write biased articles about monkey's doing monkey tricks at skycity... there will be several hinnies that will be smokeless from now on.....

PhiloPublius
387
Points
PhiloPublius 03/03/11 - 01:21 pm
0
0
I think Brad missed my point

I think Brad missed my point about reading yesterday's news.

Print news is going to meet its end very soon. Radio isn't even a good comparison. As long as we are driving cars we will have radio in some form or another. But printed news? I'm afraid that once the older generation in our area is gone, the paper will be gone too.

It is the future my friends. Soon enough everyone will have an ipad, e-reader, or smartphone of some type. Articles will be zapped into our hands days faster than it could have gone through editing, the presses, and distribution.

It's nothing to be sad about. All of you hippies out there should be happy that we are saving trees, and as a bonus I am getting my news as it happens and not a day or two late.

The future is here, and it is a beautiful thing... I guess we are going to have to come up with new ways of lining our bird cages now. :-/

bobaisgaf
5
Points
bobaisgaf 03/03/11 - 02:12 pm
0
0
Interesting that Portico

Interesting that Portico would say that the problem was something with the local economy when Augusta was listed as one of the few places that was relatively unaffected by the recent economic crisis. Still, advertising pays the bills so the local businesses probably didn't see the value of putting an ad an a sinking free newspaper that was trying to cater to a small demographic. I thought it kind of lost it's charm about 10 years ago except for a few contributors like Ed Turner. It will be missed.

mary.dits
0
Points
mary.dits 03/04/11 - 01:33 pm
0
0
i'm gonna miss those great

i'm gonna miss those great fashion interviews. well, harry and mary have more here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et5ETZb5mKs

neecee528
0
Points
neecee528 03/04/11 - 11:03 am
0
0
Shame on Portico

Shame on Portico Publications! This was a great paper!

Kojack
10
Points
Kojack 03/17/11 - 02:37 pm
0
0
Jeremy Chughes ---> There is

Jeremy Chughes ---> There is a crucial flaw in all of your complaining about papers. IF they do convert to online only, just WHO is going to research and write the stories? Stories don't just magically appear in the paper, after the story is written, someone would have to put it in a digital format for you to read!!

Then there's the age issue you neglected to acknowledge. As people age, their senses get worse and sadly SEEING could become a problem.
That may make an ipad, e-reader or smartphone an unusable waste of money. (wouldn't you rather pay $4/gal for gas to put in your car anyway??)

You may be able to take the paper out of the man, but you will NEVER be able to take the man out of the paper. That's a fact you should accept. There will always be a man to make the paper, always one to deliver it and always one to read it.

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