The owner of alt-weeklies in Boston, Providence and Portland, Maine, will launch new sites for each paper on Jan. 1, according to the Boston Business Journal. Phoenix Media executive vice president Bradley Mindich says the $200,000 upgrade is a smart investment in light of the growth of Internet advertising. "In five years, it is highly probable that, as a converged media company, the Web could be the largest ad revenue generator for us," says Mindich. The Business Journal also reports that Phoenix competitor The Weekly Dig will launch a new site in March modeled after Boston.com but targeting the 18- to 34-year-old demographic.
There are three things you should know about this week's cover, the Dig's Joe Keohane tells the Boston Herald: 1. The timing was right, since the Sox and Yankees are "neck and neck (so to speak)'' in the pennant race. And the one-year anniversary of the Massachusett's same-sex marriage ruling is only, umm, six weeks out. 2. The photo was snapped by Tony Bennett's granddaughter. 3. It's an experiment to see who would be more pissed off -- baseball fans or homophobes.
The Advocate, a Boston-based magazine, reported last week on the Dig's decision to run a crossword puzzle titled "The Jews." Written by managing editor Eric Solomon, the puzzle includes clues such as "Oy, we killed the (blank) of God!" Solomon tells the Advocate that "I'm Jewish, and I don't think [the puzzle is] offensive." He adds: "If we're not in a society where we can make fun of ourselves, that's sad." Robert Trestan of the Anti-Defamation League tells the Advocate that "some people might find [the puzzle] offensive, but I don't think it's anti-Semitic."
The five-year-old alt-weekly hits the streets tomorrow with a completely new look, reports the Boston Herald. In October 2004, Metrocorp -- parent company of Boston Magazine and other publications -- bought a majority interest in Boston's Weekly Dig, promising to increase editorial and advertising content. Tomorrow's issue, with a page count of 56, will be 16 pages longer than previous issues. The Dig has added 200 metal news boxes around the city to accommodate increased circulation, which will jump from 30,000 to 50,000.