The abrupt closing last week of the 47-year-old Boston Phoenix was a shock to the alternative weekly ecosystem. It also underscored the divide between struggling big city papers and more viable smaller-market ones.
The sad state of newspaper classifieds makes me feel lucky that I worked at LA Weekly during the early '80s, when the classifieds did more than drive revenue: they said as much about the city's culture as the cover stories.
Publishers may feel they need to throw unorthodox revenue techniques against the wall to see what sticks. It's reasonable for us to suggest they pick a different wall than the one between advertising and editorial.