The Phoenix falls into the ashes

Pre-glossy.Pre-glossy. See the last cover.Both the Dig and the Globe report the Boston Phoenix is shutting down immediately.

The Phoenix itself tweets:

Thank you Boston. Good night and good luck.

The Phoenix has been around since 1966. It had been hard hit in recent years by the decline in print advertising and had sold off its radio station and merged the newspaper with Stuff magazine in an attempt to stay afloat.

Jim Romanesko posts a copy of publisher Stephen Mindich's memo to his staff:

As everyone knows, between the economic crisis beginning in 2007 and the simultaneous radical changes in the media business, particularly as it has affected print media advertising, these have been extremely difficult times for our Company and despite the valiant effort by many, many past and current staff to attempt to stabilize and, in fact, reverse our significant financial losses, we have been unable to do so and they are no longer sustainable. will also go dark, but the Portland and Providence editions of the Phoenix will continue, he adds.

Liz Pelly, who has written for the Phoenix for the past two years, is heartbroken:

i remember emailing my sister and saying, "This is the only publication i would ever want to work for full-time." it was the only publication i'd ever come across that so perfectly encompassed my interests in both music/culture while also being invested in radical politics/news/activism/social issues. most importantly, the Phoenix was just as skeptical as the mainstream media as i was. for a publication of its size to always be flipping a finger to big media and the concept of corporate ownership was really Huge.

Northeastern professor and Phoenix alum Dan Kennedy: This is an incredibly sad day.



Free tagging: 


Depends on who it is that's

Depends on who it is that's out of work, right? If it's One Of Us, we allow a moment of silence. If it's The Hated Enemy, we dance on their career grave.

Wow, that's the pissiest

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Wow, that's the pissiest thing I've read out of the Phoenix in a while. They might as well have just copy-pasted NO U over and over again.

Not to speak ill of the dead,but

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I suspect most of those mourning the Pheonix haven't actually read it in years.It used to be that people would grab one to see what bands were playing where and what was going on around town. Hopefully there would be an investigative piece or an informative character story and it would make for an enjoyable read. When you're a newspaper and your target demographic is the most electronically connected on the planet,you're in trouble.

Yes, but ...

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They still had David Bernstein and Chris Faraone, among others (and, yes, damnit, I like Faraone's stuff).

What about

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A day in the life of Sob Story Guy ?
Adam,get Faraone on this immediately !

Farone ?

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The only Phoenix reporter to cover the black music scene was Farone, and it was limited to those acts that appealed to his hip hop street sensibilities. Soul, gospel, jazz, soca, those were afterthoughts at the Phoenix. Yes, reggae got mentioned in one article. It was sad, because there's so much more to the black music scene than street rhymes.

I disagree

There was also Michael Freedberg. A pompous windbag in person but he knows his shit.

Actually I still read the

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Actually I still read the Pheonix. Hands down, it was the best resource for entertainment listings. It will be missed. In the end, the reporting was minimal, and lately the paper's reporters seemed to be fixated on so-called "medical" marijuana.


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David Bernstein is great (and hopefully he lands another job in state).

But The Phoenix went balls deep in covering the occupy movement, and that to me says something. Their agenda was too out of touch.

Umm, no

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Actually, the Pheonix did not have a lot of gay stuff. Maybe they should have, it might have helped increase circulation.


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No paper here really has much queer stuff. Even Bay Windows and Edge are pretty just the much upper-class white gay scene, with an occasional nod to the drug/club scene in order to pay the bills.

Bay Windows

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Agreed that Bay Windows is quite bland nowadays. Not much to it. I prefer the sporadically available (in Boston anyway) Rainbow Times, which, from what I can tell, doesn't seemafraid to appear politically incorrect if the situation warrants it. Bay Windows pretty much parrots the mainstream gay agenda (and I say this as a gay man). The days of really radical and very interesting publications like Fag Rag from the 1970s are gone. But these are different times of course.

Um, no

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Not really Eeka. Bay Windows isn't just about upper class European-American Gay men from the South End. Irene Monroe is a Black Lesbian reverend and a regular contributor. The Golden Rainbow Times is a section of the paper dedicated to LGBT seniors. And I can safely say Bay Windows devotes more time to transgendered persons than any other publication in New England.

You'd be surprised. A lot of

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You'd be surprised. A lot of people.
And I'd bet you were one of those people.
"Gay stuff": it's not just for breakfast anymore.

Goodbye and amen

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The Phoenix outlived it's relevence years, even decades ago. Like that other once-great Boston institution WBCN, it started out great and ended up a horrid and bloated, a sad embarrasment to it's former glories. I remember when it wasn't even sold in stores, it was sold on the street by "hawkers".

Why start now?

The publisher has never shown wisdom or vision or courage or consideration. Why should the death by fiat be any different?

the Phoenix was just as

the Phoenix was just as skeptical as the mainstream media as i was. for a publication of its size to always be flipping a finger to big media and the concept of corporate ownership was really Huge.

Somehow, I suspect she'll be leaving this off her resume.

Corporate ownership: they

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Corporate ownership: they sold WFNX for $14.5 to...Clear Channel.

And that still couldn't save 'em.
The Phoenix posted a youtube vid of Occupiers outside Fox25
chanting This is What Democracy Looks Like. Now it looks like
the Phoenix's readers will find out That is What Bankruptcy
Looks Like. That being said, sad, they did do some good
and thoughts/prayers to those being laid off.

The reality is (and I say

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The reality is (and I say this as a PHX alumnus) that Stephen M. keeps his money in different pockets. The FNX money didn't go to save the PHX. Just like Providence & Portland PHX and MassWeb are continuing to exist and yet BosPhx is going "bankrupt." He decided he wasn't making money on the deal, so now is a good time to close shop.

May not be a good idea.

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May not be a good idea. Stephen M. still owns the copyright and he'll sue to protect. He went after Stuff Magazine when he was publishing Stuff locally. I think they just sued Google over some patents as well.

Stuff magazine

He went after Stuff Magazine when he was publishing Stuff locally

I thought it was the other way 'round, which is why the local one had to become '[email protected]' for a few years.

I wasn't there at PMCG at the

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I wasn't there at PMCG at the time, but I later talked to a lawyer who was involved in the suit. I believe he said Stephen started it (but even if he didn't, he fought it). Sounds like SM --- go after the big guy who doesn't know you exist (I'm not sure why Stuff Mag would have bothered with a Boston local pub if they weren't sued first). I believe they settled and Stephen gladly changed to [email protected], changing back when Stuff went out of business.

Regardless, he will protect his copyrights aggressively.


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They used to be great. Early/mid 80s. Terrific political, sports, and cultural coverage. Those were the days . . .

I liked the Phoenix a lot

I mean, it was free for crying out loud. I especially enjoyed the political writing- Bernstein, Adam Reilly (he used to work for them, right?), Faraone, and so forth. It's been about ten years since I went to a concert or even bought a cd (exaggerating only a little), so I think I sort of aged out of the entertainment stuff, but I also enjoyed Keough's movie reviews.
I'll miss it.


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I've been trying not to make fun of this all day but I can't help it. The Phoenix has come a long, sad way when it features Karmin on the cover. Maybe it deserved to die.