Folio 2.0: John Phillips reboots Jax's alt weekly

A month after Folio Weekly shut down, local attorney John Phillips is bringing back Jacksonville's alternative weekly paper as Folio 2.0.

End of an era

Jacksonville local media took a blow in May when Folio Weekly’s owner Sam Taylor announced the alternative weekly was closing after 33 years in print. On June 8, the publication’s Twitter account announced that Folio 2.0 was in the works.

“Independent, locally owned journalism is back. No paywalls. Your stories. Bolder than ever,” read the tweet. It also asked those interested in writing for or advertising with to contact Folio.

Folio Weekly launched in April 1987 and quickly established itself as Jacksonville’s alt weekly. Citing the “economic freefall” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor announced the paper would shut down on May 5.

John Phillips and Folio 2.0

John Phillips. Courtesy of Wikimedia.

On June 15, Jacksonville attorney John Phillips revealed at a Meninak Club meeting that he is part of a new group, Bold Land Press, that has bought Folio from Taylor. According to Florida Division of Coorporations records, Phillips registered PDJ Publishing, Inc. on June 1, 2020. The address given is 212 North Laura Street in Downtown Jacksonville, the location of the main office of Phillips & Hunt, the law firm Phillips founded in 2011.

Phillips is known in Jacksonville and beyond as the civil attorney representing the family of Jordan Davis, an African-American teenager murdered at a gas station by Michael Dunn, a white man, in 2012. He also represented Omorosa Manigault Newman in arbitration against President Donald Trump.He also won the highest ever wrongful death judgment in Jacksonville history - $495 million - for the family of victim Kalil McCoy. He’s no stranger to Folio Weekly - he has won “best lawyer” in the paper’s annual Best of Jax list multiple times, and was featured in a cover story in January 2020.

Phillips announced that Taylor would help get Folio restarted, and revealed that the new management structure involves a board, which is currently working to hire writers and editors for the relaunched publication. Phillips noted that the new ownership intended to make Folio’s full archives available online, and stated that more details of what 2.0 would look like would be forthcoming soon. According to Phillips, the paper hopes to be back in print in July 2020.

Article by Bill Delaney. Contact Bill at