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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, October 24, 2008

g Whiz

The new Globe is here! Is it any different? Time will tell.

g made its debut today -- a wise move given the weekend entertainment ads. The section felt far more substantial than the late unlamented Sidekick. Let's see what happens on Mondays and Tuesday when there isn't a special theme -- and ad support.

(And they really need to do something about that promo page on boston.com that loads in about 20 minutes...)

The use of spot color in pictures, while new for the Globe, is something my little suburban daily did about 20 years ago, so don't count me as overly impressed. Ditto for color comics.

The real answers to g will come over time -- will eliminating a business front on a regular basis and Health/Science on a weekly basis make a real difference?

But ultimately, it's the fate of the never mentioned fifth section that will control the destiny of this and other newspapers. The classified section was once the life blood of the paper. Today, it is little more than a wrapper for the ad inserts.

The shrinkage of classifieds has been obviously for quite awhile -- Craigslist, Monster.com and its job site cousins and vehix.com and its car relatives -- have devastated the industry's advertising base and is ultimately the reason for the redesign.

The odds of the fifth section bulking up are virtually nil. Continued shrinkage and the new, "improved" Globe will need still more changes.

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