The Plain Dealer’s Friday! Magazine, the standalone tabloid arts and entertainment section that has printed weekly for 54 years, is no more. Content previously included in that section will now have a new home.
Cleveland.com arts and entertainment editor Michael Norman, announcing a change in format this week, said that the Friday! Magazine would, starting Friday, be recast as a broadsheet section included within the rest of the paper and would now be called “In the CLE.” He said the new section name — not to be confused with Cleveland.com’s daily podcast This Week in the CLE — better reflects its editorial mission, which is all about recommending things to do every weekend for local audiences.
“The name and look are different,” Norman wrote, “but the mission remains the same. We want to be your guide, to help you and your family and friends cut through the noise with our coverage and picks and recommendations for concerts, nightlife, movies, festivals, family fun, theatrical performances, visual art exhibitions & more.”
Like Friday! before it, “In the CLE” will continue to offer movie reviews, concert listings, dining guides and regular arts and culture features on a range of topics from visual arts to dance to craft breweries to outdoor recreation.
Norman acknowledged that the Coronavirus has dramatically changed the way Clevelanders seek and experience entertainment. If Scene’s own experience is any guide, the pandemic has also changed the way arts and entertainment is covered. When there are fewer bars, restaurants and movie theaters open and fewer concerts coming to town, there’s much less material to write about. There’s also much less money supporting the production of that content.
When asked via email, Norman declined to comment on arts and entertainment ad revenue at the PD and whether losses in advertising precipitated the format change.