Free publications come and free publications go. In Baltimore, 2008 saw the introduction of two new free tabloids to the market: b, a freebie put out by The Baltimore Sun that proclaims to be a daily "conversation" with readers, hit the streets in April, and Exhibit A, a free monthly focusing on legal issues launched by The Daily Record, appeared in newspaper boxes around town in May ("Exhibit B," Arts & Entertainment, Aug. 20). Media Circus learned this week, however, that one of those publications, Exhibit A, is already doing away with its print product.
"Our last [print] edition comes out this week," says an employee at the paper who asked not to be named. "As of Nov. 1, we will be online."
The employee declines to say what led to the decision to go online-only and refers further questions to Exhibit A publisher Suzanne Fischer-Huettner (whose voice mail says she is also associate publisher of The Daily Record), who could not be reached for comment by press time.
Exhibit A's sister publication in Boston, which has been publishing since 2007, is also eliminating its print product and going to a web-only format. According to a post on the paper's web site, written by publisher/editor in chief David Yas, the last issue of the print product came out in early October and a new web site, exhibitAnews.com, was launched. According to the post, changes in how people consume news--via handheld devices and social-networking sites--led to the decision to beef up the site and ditch the dead trees.
"At Exhibit A, we've always thought of ourselves as newspaper people," Yas writes. "Report. Write. Print. Get your fingers dirty. But people get information differently these days, and Exhibit A is better equipped on the web to provide it. See you at www.exhibitAnews.com"