by Joe Siegel
Michigan’s LGBTQ weekly Between the Lines (BTL) has a new format and now publishes on a biweekly basis. Publishers Jan Stevenson and Susan Horowitz announced the changes in a December 18 editorial.
“As some of you may have already noticed, for some time now our editors and writers have been shifting BTL’s editorial design and focus to be more feature-oriented,” Stevenson and Horowitz wrote. “Our website, pridesource.com, has increasingly been our outlet for breaking news, events, resource listings, contests and more. In 2020 we will build on this trend, continuing to enhance our online presence and functionality while using the biweekly print edition of Between The Lines for longer, more in-depth looks at issues, people and projects that are the most important and interesting to our LGBTQ community.”
|Jan Stevenson and Susan Horowitz (l-r)
Horowitz said the decision to go biweekly had nothing to do with the paper’s circulation figures, which have grown over the past several years.
“We have about 400 active advertisers in our print products — BTL and our annual Pride Magazine,” Horowitz explained. “Only a small handful were advertising every week — most were either already biweekly, monthly or on schedules unique to them. We have seen no decrease in print revenues on the biweekly schedule — in fact we are up over last year so far. Of course, our print bills and distribution expenses are cut in half, which we anticipate allowing us to put more resources into our website.”
Horowitz noted the change in format was necessitated by current trends in media.
“These days with such an accelerated news cycle, we are publishing stories and event announcements online daily — and we are choosing from that inventory when planning our print editions,” Horowitz said. “We are expanding those print stories into longer features and analysis. It just makes more sense given the changes in the way people receive their news.”
Horowitz said another reason for the change is the fact that almost all of Between the Lines’ advertisers are opting for a blend of print and digital advertising.
“We are committing to focus more resources on the digital products we offer,” Horowitz added, “and the biweekly print schedule allows us the time and money to build new features such as video, podcasts [and] live streaming that are especially interesting to our readers online.”
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