the ‘aimed at affluent readers’ bit. The fact is, all good publications are aimed at affluent readers.”
   With Layne at the helm, the Los Angeles Examiner is likely to be an intensely self-aware publication that spends as much time berating the media as being part of it.
   The Los Angeles Examiner is also trying to set itself up as a very different species than your typical urban weekly. The Examiner will not have the listing section that’s often considered the staple of the alternative newsweekly.
    The Examiner will also differ from the classic alternative weekly format in its advertising. There will be no adult-oriented ads, a move that Layne says will allow them to distribute paper in the swanky hotels and grocery stores that most alt-weeklies are banned from.
    We won’t know whether there’s room for a niche publication catering to the rich and the witty of LA till this summer, but Kahn points out that New York is filled with variations on the newspaper theme. The Examiner is following a path carved out by the well-established New York Observer.
   Newspaper analyst John Morton, of Morton Research is optimistic about the Examiner’s chances. 
  “There’s plenty of room for a weekly that goes after a niche audience,” says Morton. “They’re all alternative weeklies, whether they’re aimed at urban youngsters or the affluent – and as long as they target their audience well, it works.”

February 3, 2003© 2003 Media Life

-Heidi Vogt is a staff writer for Media Life.

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