The Press: Experiment in Giveaways

A visiting Easterner once quipped that "Los Angeles consists of 40 suburbs in search of a city." In the search, Greater Los Angeles supports the astonishing total of 258 newspapers—including five major dailies, 17 minor ones, 71 paid weeklies and 165 giveaways. The haphazard little community giveaways, which flourish in Los Angeles as nowhere else in the country, exist on the ads of local merchants, run only community news.

Looking them over, bustling little James Parton got an idea. Parton, onetime Harvard cross-country runner ('34) and wartime lieutenant colonel, had been a TIME...

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