Arts & Culture » Culture

Outrageous pages

Penthouse ad flap

When the MT’s editors declined to run an ad for Penthouse magazine, in March 1984, nobody would have known about it, except they decided to run a photo of the magazine alongside an explanation of why they weren’t going to run the ad. The following week, the paper received outraged letters, all opposing the decision and pointing out that some of the other ads in the paper were just as degrading to women as the magazine in question. However, the next week, a flood of letters supported the move. Their writers, wanting to help defray the $700 loss the paper took by refusing the ad, also sent in $10, the cost of a year’s subscription to the paper back then.

The Ann Arbor Metro Times

Back in 1990-91 there were two versions of the Metro Times. One was in Detroit and the other in Ann Arbor. Which was the impostor?

Ron Williams, who was editor at the time, explained it in a recent e-mail:

“It was a case of expansion interruptus. The Ann Arbor business community didn’t want to pay for all the readers in Sterling Heights (100,000 circulation, big rate card), so we gave them their own paper. Everyone told us that Ann Arbor is different from the rest of the metro area — its own city and so on and so forth and that it deserved its own alternative voice.

“When we discontinued distribution of the Detroit edition and launched the Ann Arbor Metro Times, the readers rose up and demanded the ‘real’ Metro Times. One … reader actually stormed into our new offices, tossed the Ann Arbor paper in the face of our editor and insisted he stop perpetuating the fraud. It wasn’t long thereafter that this grassroots market research led us to reinstate Detroit (edition MT) distribution and pull up stakes. Lesson learned.” Alisa Gordaneer is MT features editor. E-mail

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