On September 23, 1991, The Stranger, a weekly newspaper, begins publication. It is billed as an alternative to other alternative papers such as The Weekly and The Rocket. It is distributed free of charge, but, of the initial run of 20,000, only 12,000 are picked up. Most of the readers and advertisers are in the University District.
Publisher Tim Keck (b. 1967) started the paper with the proceeds from the sale of an alternative paper in Madison, Wisconsin, and with a loan from his mother. Early circulation was disappointing, but when Keck began covering the cultural scene on Capitol Hill, the paper took off. The success of The Stranger was a major factor in The Weekly moving to free distribution in 1995.
By 1998, 60,000 copies of The Stranger were being distributed each week.
Erik Lundegaard, "Making Seattle Just A Little Bit Stranger," Washington Law and Politics, February 1998, pp. 17-19.
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