The Phoenix is shut down
Greater Boston’s lifestyles and news magazine, The Phoenix, has tweeted its goodbyes after 47 years.
Friday’s issue will be its last, according to parent company Phoenix Media.
Here’s Mark Leccese’s report from September, when the venerable alt-weekly newspaper merged with its glossy nightlife magazine, Stuff, to become a magazine called The Phoenix – a piece called “The sad, inevitable decline of The Boston Phoenix.”
“The Boston Phoenix, like alternative newsweeklies around the country, has been in decline for years,” Leccese wrote. “The web has hurt alternative weeklies much worse that it hurt daily papers, and it has hurt dailies plenty … once the Web exploded and computers with innumerable apps became small enough to carry in your pocket, the paper’s decline was inevitable.”
Many people responded immediately to the news via Twitter, of course, including calling this “the worst century ever” or merely adding “Weep” or a sad emoticon to the Phoenix’ tweet. From New York, reader Amy Bass said, “Video Killed the Radio Star … and then it got worse.”
After a final tweet – with a timestamp that seems to have not been adjusted for a daylight savings time shift – the magazine’s website went down, possibly clogged with people trying to visit. Radio station WFNX.com was also shuttered, although company publications in Maine and Rhode Island would remain. From Phoenix Media:
The Phoenix Media/Communications Group owner and publisher Stephen M. Mindich today announced a major reorganization. Among the changes:
With the issue dated March 15, The Phoenix, the 47 year old alternative arts and news weekly will cease print publication. The online issue slated for the week of March 22, will be the publication’s last.
The Portland Phoenix in Maine and the Providence Phoenix in Rhode Island will be unaffected. They will continue weekly publication.
The custom publishing unit of the PM/CG, likewise, will stay in business. as will MassWeb Printing, based in Auburn MA.
Mindich announced these changes at a staff meeting at 2 pm today. Freelance contributors were notified subsequent to that.
PM/CG Executive Editor Peter Kadzis, a 25-year veteran of the Phoenix, said this:
“I started reading the paper when I was 14 years old and had the fun and challenge of running it for 20 years or so. Political Boston, arts Boston, just won’t be the same. We are a text book example of sweeping market-place change. Our recent switch to a magazine format met with applause from readers and local advertisers. Not so — with a few exceptions — national advertisers. It was the long-term decline of national advertising dollars that made the Boston Phoenix economically unviable. Providence and Portland, however, don’t suffer from that problem. The local advertising market is sufficient to support those publications. You can see why Warren Buffett favors small market papers over their big city brothers and sisters,”
“The tragedy” wrote Boston Phoenix Editor Carly Carioli in a blog post, “is that it feels like we’re going out at the top of our game. As I write this our best journalists are where they belong: in the field. David Bernstein is in Washington, interviewing Elizabeth Warren for what would have been the next issue’s cover story. Music editor Michael Marotta is heading up a team of photographers and writers covering SXSW. Among those with him is Liz Pelly, who arrived in Austin direct from a DIY music festival in Mexico. Our next issue would also have included an important essay by 350.org’s Bill McKibben on the Democratic Senate primary between Ed Markey and Steve Lynch — and its deep importance to preventing the expansion of the KXL pipeline.”
“I cannot find the words to express how sad a moment this is for me,” publisher Stephen Mindich said in a statement published by The Boston Globe. “We have had an extraordinary run.”