A damp Wednesday morning in a small town in central North Carolina. People file into a tiny church (seating capacity approximately 100) for the funeral of a beloved writer, who was my wife’s mentor. A woman sits down next to me. She is a writer, from Winston-Salem. We three chat. She asks whether I, like my wife, am a writer too. I explain I am in the netherworld between newspapers and online: “I have a website where all of my company’s newspapers, which include the Winston-Salem Journal, can share th–”
“You ruined a perfectly good newspaper,” she says.
“I didn’t do it.”
Somehow I don’t feel up to a discourse on the economics of advertising, especially classified advertising, and how little any newspaper reader actually pays of the total cost of producing a newspaper.