Politics & Media
Feb 04, 2009, 08:12AM

The Future of Alt-Weekly Cartoons

A cartoonist interviews an editor.

Some good things, some bad:

Matt Bors: Editor and Publisher had an article about 10 alt-weeklies that grew in 2008. I'm seeing a lot of small independent papers on that list. What are they doing right?

Kevin Allman: If you look at that list, you'll notice two things: the papers that are OK are in smaller markets and they're locally owned. In smaller markets, the advertisers that make up the bulk of alt-weekly ads have no other place to put their ads. And being locally owned is a big advantage right now, since the alt-media conglomerates almost all uniformly overbought. VVM, Creative Loafing, etc. -- they've all made some of the same mistakes that the big newspaper chains like Tribune have made.

But those growth papers aren't immune from the hurt, either. If you read the list, you'll find that many of them have grown with ancillary products (bridal guides, special supplements, "annual manuals" and the like). It doesn't mean that the page count or the profits on their weekly papers, where you would appear, are growing or even holding steady. It means they've found new vehicles for advertising, not editorial.

  • Not many good things. One of the best features of alternative weeklies were all the comic strips. People forget that Matt Groening got his start at the Los Angeles Reader in the late 80s, and for him the rest is history. Certainly webcomics could provide the same platform, but it's still one more sad thing about the demise of print.

    Responses to this comment

Register or Login to leave a comment