The city mag publisher "didn't do everything perfectly, but there was a ton of stuff it did that was genius," Jeff Lawrence tells Business Week. Metrocorp, which also owns Boston magazine, bought a majority interest in the Dig in 2004, and Lawrence bought the paper back earlier this year. After watching how the bigger company spun out new revenue streams from its numerous brands, Lawrence is now thinking about how to introduce new ventures like phone-based Web content, a quarterly arts publication, Boston travel and entertainment guides for the Gen Y set, and alternative newspapers in other New England towns, all under the Weekly Dig brand. "I had access to their executive meetings and knowledge and history," Lawrence says. "Entrepreneurs don't often get that kind of opportunity."
A few weeks back, the Dig noted that Provincetown author Bill Schneider's claims of being on Oprah and of his book being selected for the media maven's book club seemed odd, since his novelette hadn't achieved any of the fame usually associated with the big O. Turns out the paper was right -- last week Schneider admitted he'd lied about Oprah, calling it "an error in judgment." Quite a difference from just weeks ago, when he was extolling the virtues of what the show can do for an author to the Dig. "Your whole life changes after Oprah," he said.
As we reported last month, Tak Toyoshima's comic strip, which originated out of the Dig and appears in many alt-weeklies, has been picked up by the United Feature Syndicate and will become a daily feature in papers nationwide beginning July 16. In an interview with the San Francisco-based Japanese-American newspaper Nichi Bei Times, Toyoshima talks about his goal for his new expanded audience: "I want readers to see a strip that isn't afraid to talk about things that most cartoon cats wouldn't touch but also feel like they are not being hit over the head by some overbearing agenda."
The comic strip by Weekly Dig art director Tak Toyoshima has been picked up by the United Feature Syndicate and will become a daily feature in papers nationwide, Editor & Publisher reports. "Thanks to all of you who have been supporting the strip for years and to those who criticize me, disagree with me and tell me I'm a moron," Toyoshima says on his site.
Yesterday, the Dig revealed that Boston Pride Committee fundraising chair Bill Berggren has a criminal record and is a convicted sex offender. Later in the day, Berggren stepped down from the committee. "My resignation comes in the wake of a malicious attempt to bring my personal life into the public sphere," Berggren writes in his resignation letter. "This has precipitated a hasty judgment from some members of the community, and I anticipate the enemies of Pride will seize this opportunity to attack the organization. In order to protect Boston Pride from unnecessary attacks two weeks before Pride Week, I am quickly stepping aside."
Only a few years into its majority ownership of the Dig, Metrocorp Inc. and the paper have decided to part ways, the Herald reports. Metrocorp, which is also the publisher of Boston magazine, will sell the Dig back to founder Jeff Lawrence (pictured). "We never got a clear feeling that it was part of our DNA," says Metrocorp president David Lipson. "The Dig emerges independent with a higher circulation and greater recognition in the market, but also with more overhead, and without Metrocorp bankrolling the costs," the Herald notes. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Let's just say I'm not nearly as liquid a man as I was previously," Lawrence says.
Joe Keohane, who was recently replaced at the Dig by Michael Brodeur, is now a staff writer at Boston Magazine, WBZ-TV reports. Boston Magazine's parent company, Metrocorp, bought a majority interest in the Dig in 2004.
Michael Brodeur, recently named as Joe Keohane's replacement as editor of the Boston alt-weekly, talks with IN Newsweekly, a New England GLBT newspaper, about being gay, but steers the conversation -- about himself and about the Dig -- beyond identity politics. "It's not that I go up to people and say, hi, I'm gay," says Brodeur. "It doesn't really matter. I just want someone to be interested in what we're writing."
Jim Stanton, recently hired by the Dig "to rehabilitate the paper's disastrously bad website," out-consumed a dozen or so other hardcore pork eaters at Cambridge's Atwood's Tavern. "I'm glad all my perseverance and hard work paid off," Stanton tells the Emerson College TV show Afterhours.
The Boston Herald's media reporter calls it "(a) big loss." A local TV guy says it's "an unwelcome blow to this city’s precious supply of sarcasm and creative loathing." All of this wailing and gnashing of teeth is for Joe Keohane, the Weekly Dig editor who announced yesterday that he was leaving the paper next month. "Singlehandedly, he has transformed a once-lousy altweekly into a lousy altweekly with a brilliant editorial (by himself) and a handful of other great features ... that spoke truth to power," says a Boston Globe blogger. Meanwhile, Dig president Jeff Lawrence wonders what all the fuss is about. After all, he tells the Herald, the Dig doesn’t encourage editorial employees to stick around for more than five years.