Monday, March 15, 2004


Our little weekly is growing up, and we’re all just so proud ...

The Weekly Dig is like a smaller, surlier Boston Phoenix. The main difference has been that the Phoenix continues to look like several pages worth of printer errors, whereas the Dig looks as though someone actually designed it -- sober.

But the current Dig issue breaks exciting ground by featuring Hollywood’s next hot-new-thing-until-the-next-one, Elisha Cuthbert, on the cover and in an interview inside.

This is nothing new for many publications. Cover space is traded for content all the time. It is notable, however, at an alternative weekly that only recently started having cover photos at all, or even covers that related at all to what was going on inside. In other words, what was once more like the New Yorker is now more like the kind of crap magazines and casually cynical backroom deals that alternative weeklies make fun of.

It’s possible, of course, that the Dig is actually not an alternative weekly -- although its own marketing positions it as a challenger to the Phoenix. Instead, the Dig may evolve into a kind of weekly styles publication, an Improper Bostonian, Stuff or Stuff@Night for the kind of people who read the Boston Phoenix but whose lifestyles are more about PBR then crantinis. Alterna-pluggers.

The Dig shouldn’t automatically be faulted for doing what it can to stay in business. But soon its readers will be able to shake their tattooed hands at it and say, “You changed, man. You changed.”

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