Readers of the Portland Mercury's sister paper in Seattle, The Stranger, got some big news this afternoon: Starting this fall, The Stranger, which for the past 25 years has been published every week, will be published every other week. This new, biweekly Stranger will be bigger, with a higher page count, and fancier, with heavier paper stock and a staple binding. (OooOOOOoooOOO! So fancy!) Readers can expect longer, more in-depth feature stories, a beefed-up events calendar, and, of course, all the stuff they've grown used to with the weekly Stranger. Meanwhile, The Stranger's super-popular web and blog operations will continue as normal. And this is important: The Stranger isn't cutting any staff to make these changes.

The first questions you have are probably the first questions I had: “Oh shit! Is the Mercury going biweekly too?” and “Oh shit! Is The Stranger having money trouble?”

The answers: No, the Mercury's not going biweekly. While the Mercury and The Stranger are both owned by Index Publishing, Seattle is a very different city, and a very different market, from Portland. Here in Portland, we still believe a weekly newspaper is the best possible print format to deliver the Mercury that Portlanders have come to know, rely on, and love and/or hate. And no, The Stranger's not having money trouble, and neither is the Mercury. (Quite the opposite, actually.) This decision was made for a slew of other reasons, which Index Publisher Tim Keck goes into here.

Speaking as someone who's been reading (and contributing to) The Stranger for as long as I've been an editor at the Mercury, I'm stoked to see this new version of my second-favorite newspaper. We'll be keeping a close eye on all of this, and we'll post more about it whenever it's of interest or relevance to Mercury readers. In the meantime, I just wanted to let Mercury readers know that this change at The Stranger isn't a bad thing. It's The Stranger doing what it does best: staying nimble, switching things up, trying new shit. For 25 years, The Stranger has been smart, relevant, and innovative... and here they are, still being all smart and relevant and innovative. That can only be a good thing—not only for The Stranger's readers, but for the Mercury's, too.