Mountain eXodus: Another staffer quits Asheville alt weekly Mountain Xpress


Mountain Xpress reporter Caitlin Byrd has resigned her post at Asheville’s alternative news weekly. A full one third if the Mountain Xpress staff has either resigned or been fired over the past two months. Here’s the background:

I’ve received word that more employees are leaving the Mountain Xpress, Asheville’s alternative news weekly. This follows a wave of earlier defections. thus appears to be a full-on mass exodus now. The latest:

Julia Ritchey – Assistant Editor
Max Cooper – Staff Photographer
Dane Smith – Clubland Editor
Jen Orris – Calendar Editor
I reported the following departures in a September post:

Who’s gone or in the process of leaving? Here’s the list: Arts and entertainment editor Rebecca Sulock; food writer Emily Patrick; assistant editor Jay Bartell; ad design and pre-press coordinatorJohn Zara; art and design manager Carrie Lare; and graphic designer Sarah Riddle. These are all key positions.

More as I get it.


Marissa November 7, 2013 - 9:42 am

Hearing about all of this breaks my heart. As someone who worked for Xpress for 6 years before leaving the paper on my own accord (then consequently leaving town, because let’s be real, the job market in Asheville is not booming) I worked closely with many of these people day in and day out, and I know how dedicated they were to the mission and the community of Asheville.
You can blame it on the death of the newspaper, but the truth is the people of Asheville still supported the paper, despite the changing times, and although I know it became more and more stressful for the publisher to keep the operation going, the fundamental flaw I saw was lack of communication from upper management to the staff, and the inability to see the big picture instead of the Wednesday to Wednesday. I’m sure there’s more to this story that we will never know, but I hope that these individuals find new opportunities quickly and happily. They all deserve as much.

Jason Sandford November 7, 2013 - 9:51 am

Thanks for your note, Marissa. I hope you’re doing well. Miss seeing you out and about.

Mountain Xpress photog to editor: Xpress is bleeding, and you're November 4, 2013 - 6:17 pm

[…] into the turmoil at Mountain Xpress, Asheville’s alternative news weekly. I’ve been documenting a raft of recent staff turnover at Xpress, and now here’s this: a letter that former Xpress photographer Max Cooper sent to Xpress […]

Heather Rayburn November 3, 2013 - 11:16 am

This is terrible news. 🙁

Betty White November 2, 2013 - 12:04 am

They are leaving because of rich filth that has taken over Asheville.

Betty Cloer Wallace October 31, 2013 - 7:47 pm

Why are they leaving?

indie November 3, 2013 - 5:57 pm

They are leaving because the net benefits of leaving exceeded the net benefits of staying. And they didn’t like it.

Lee October 31, 2013 - 3:27 pm

Why is everyone leaving?? I don’t live in Asheville but come there frequently and always pick up an Express when I’m there.

Kim Roney October 31, 2013 - 1:52 pm

A damn good journalist. Good luck, Caitlin!

Jim October 31, 2013 - 10:46 am

So why is this?

Ron October 31, 2013 - 7:39 am

All the eXodous names above are still listed in the online staff directory (as of 10/31/2013): Perhaps the website staff bailed, too?!

Don Mak October 31, 2013 - 9:50 am


Z November 1, 2013 - 11:55 pm

Man, the MntnX website has sucked for a long time, especially after they did the overhaul. Nothing is ever updated!! It’s really frustrating sometimes.

Pete Kaliner October 30, 2013 - 8:31 pm

I just saw Julia & Max last week!

Post Comment