Your support can guarantee a long future for LEO weekly

Apr 23, 2024 at 3:49 pm

If you've been checking out the new LEO, you’ve seen the increase in content, the redesigned website and book, and a general invigorated spirit going into the paper. It’s quite nice.

Last year, our CEO had a tough choice: close LEO or invest. He chose the latter, and we’ve survived another day because of that decision. If we continue to survive, it involves you, the local public. 

While we’d love to have the benefit of an endowment (taking all benefactor offers) and nonprofit status, we don’t have either of those but what we do have is the chance for each of you to take a small step in keeping your hometown paper going. Visit our "Support Local Journalism” tab. That will take you to a page allowing you to make a monthly donation to your LEO Weekly. Three options: $5, $10, or $25 a month each are available for you to support LEO. 

Where does your money go? Directly to the operations of the paper. That includes staff, who all work well under comparable salaries, supplies, printing, web fees, the future ability to hire new staff and grow the paper you love. Bottom line: the money keeps us alive and has the potential to help LEO thrive. 

What your money doesn’t buy is our independence or our voices. Those remain true to the LEO brand and mission. But if you’re reading LEO, most likely you are interested in our perspective, even if it doesn’t necessarily jibe with your own. 

The hard fact is, the newsroom of yesteryear is gone. We’ve managed to be nimble, and do more with less but there comes a breaking point, and we’ve teetered on the edge of it too many times. 

We don’t have large teams, copy editors, staff photographers, and a team of 40 or more writers. Your LEO is (aside from the freelancers making almost no money) four editorial staff, 2 admin/sales staff and one intern strong. That’s it. That’s who makes LEO each week and we’ve only had that many staff since April 1. Before we were three editorial staff in February and March, and before that, one. LEO has been through it. 

The LEO I dream of has at least two more editorial staff members for a total of six. Not a big ask but one that requires about $100,000 to properly hire and equip. That would give us a photographer on staff and another staff writer to help cover the amazing events in this city… especially the music scene which constantly amazes me, and is an area we just cannot cover enough. 

Of course, a straight donation isn’t the only way to support LEO but it is the most direct. We have plenty of events, including the upcoming Margaritas in the ‘Ville which happens Thursday, Aug. 1. 

Whichever method you choose to support our work either by visiting our “Support Local Journalism” page or by attending one of the events, we are thankful for you allowing us to continue serving the local community in a way that only LEO can. 

Erica Rucker is LEO Weekly’s editor-in-chief. In addition to her work at LEO, she is a haphazard writer, photographer, tarot card reader, and fair-to-middling purveyor of motherhood. Her earliest memories are of telling stories to her family and promising that the next would be shorter than the first. They never were.