Eugene Weekly lays off staff, suspends printing following alleged embezzlement

By Nathan Wilk (KLCC)
Dec. 28, 2023 9:40 p.m. Updated: Dec. 29, 2023 1:33 a.m.

The 40-year-old media outlet can’t go to print for the first time in more than 20 years, following losses that likely exceed $100,000, according to editor-in-chief

A Eugene Weekly box at the publication's offices on Dec. 28, 2023. The front page of the display says "Where's the Damn Paper?"

A Eugene Weekly box at the publication's offices on Dec. 28, 2023. The paper announced it wouldn't go to print this week for the first time in more than 20 years.

Nathan Wilk / KLCC


The Eugene Weekly, a community paper founded in 1982, says it’s been the victim of embezzlement, and as a result, it can’t go to print for the first time in more than 20 years.

According to the paper’s Editor-in-Chief, Camilla Mortensen, an employee siphoned funds meant to pay vendors, retirement and the electric bill. She said those losses likely exceed $100,000.

“This was blindsiding because in addition to being a newspaper, we are a small business,” said Mortensen. “We are locally and family owned, and everybody on staff has always cared deeply about each other.”


Staff filed a police report on Dec. 19. Eugene Police confirmed to KLCC that they’re investigating the matter, while the newspaper said it’s hired a forensic accountant.

“We just owe money all over town,” said Mortensen. “We’re still discovering the extent of what didn’t get paid.”

The Weekly’s website remains online, but the print edition has been suspended until further notice. Additionally, the paper has laid off its entire staff, although Mortensen said some employees are returning as volunteers.

Reporter Emerson Brady joined the newsroom in June. She said she’s seen how the Weekly can mobilize the community towards change, and she’s unwilling to leave that behind.

“When you’re faced with insane times, you have to do insane things,” said Brady. “And if that means working for a paper that doesn’t pay you right now, that’s what I’m doing.”

Mortensen said getting print up-and-running is a top priority, as in-paper advertisements provide an important revenue source. However, she said the Weekly still owes its printing partner, who is requesting to be paid up-front in the future.

The Weekly is now asking for financial support from the public to help keep it afloat.

“Knowing that you’re going to get up on Thursday and there’s going to be something in the Weekly you wanted to see is really important to this community,” said Mortensen. “And the thought of not being able to provide that is devastating to me.”