The Phoenix (newspaper)

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The Phoenix
The Phoenix final issue.jpg
The cover of the March 15, 2013 Boston edition of The Phoenix, the newspaper's last issue
Type Alternative weekly
Format Tabloid (Portland and Providence editions)
Magazine (Boston edition)
Owner(s) Phoenix Media/Communications Group (Boston and Providence editions)
Portland News Club LLC (Portland edition)
PublisherStephen M. Mindich
EditorPeter Kadzis
Ceased publication2013 (Boston Phoenix)
2014 (Providence Phoenix)
2019 (Portland Phoenix)
Headquarters 126 Brookline Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
United States
Website (Boston and Providence) (Portland)

The Phoenix (stylized as The Phœnix) was the name of several alternative weekly periodicals published in the United States of America by Phoenix Media/Communications Group of Boston, Massachusetts, including the Portland Phoenix and the now-defunct Boston Phoenix, Providence Phoenix and Worcester Phoenix. These publications emphasized local arts and entertainment coverage as well as lifestyle and political coverage. The Portland Phoenix, although it is still publishing, is now owned by another company.

Publishing Process of production and dissemination of literature, music, or information

Publishing is the dissemination of literature, music, or information. It is the activity of making information available to the general public. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers, meaning originators and developers of content also provide media to deliver and display their content. Also, the word "publisher" can refer both to an individual who leads a publishing company or an imprint and to an individual who owns/heads a magazine.

Phoenix Media/Communications Group is an American, Boston, Massachusetts-based corporation with several publishing and broadcasting interests. which includes the Portland Phoenix of Maine. It had published The Boston Phoenix and Stuff magazine, both of which went out of business in 2013, and the Providence Phoenix until its shutdown in 2014. In addition the paper owned radio station WFNX based in Lynn, MA, from 1983 until 2012 when it was sold to Clear Channel and is now country music station WBWL.

Massachusetts State in the northeastern United States

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts' population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.


The papers, like most alternative weeklies, are somewhat similar in format and editorial content to the Village Voice . [1]



The Phoenix was founded in 1965 by Joe Hanlon, a former editor at MIT's student newspaper, The Tech . Since many Boston-area college newspapers were printed at the same printing firm, Hanlon's idea was to do a four-page single-sheet insert with arts coverage and ads. He began with the Harvard Business School's newspaper The Harbus News. A student there, James T. Lewis, became Hanlon's advertising manager.

<i>The Tech</i> (newspaper) campus newspaper at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Tech, first published on November 16, 1881, is the campus newspaper at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Editions are published on Thursdays throughout the academic year and about once a month over the summer. The Tech established an early presence on the World Wide Web, and continues to publish online in tandem with the print edition.

Greater Boston Metropolitan area in the United States

Greater Boston is the metropolitan region of New England encompassing the municipality of Boston, the capital of the U.S. state of Massachusetts and the most populous city in New England, as well as its surrounding areas. The region forms the northern arc of the US northeast megalopolis and as such, Greater Boston can be described either as a metropolitan statistical area (MSA), or as a broader combined statistical area (CSA). The MSA consists of most of the eastern third of Massachusetts, excluding the South Coast region and Cape Cod; while the CSA additionally includes the municipalities of Manchester, Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as the South Coast region and Cape Cod in Massachusetts. While the small footprint of the city of Boston itself only contains an estimated 685,094, the urbanization has extended well into surrounding areas; the CSA is one of two in Massachusetts, the only other being Greater Springfield; and is the only CSA-form statistical area in New England which crosses into three states.

Harvard Business School business school in Boston, Massachusetts

Harvard Business School (HBS) is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. Consistently ranked among the top most business schools in the world, the school offers a large full-time MBA program, management related doctoral programs, HBS Online and many executive education programs. It owns Harvard Business Publishing, which publishes business books, leadership articles, online management tools for corporate learning, case studies and the monthly Harvard Business Review. It is home to the Baker Library/Bloomberg Center.

Boston After Dark began March 2, 1966. Theater enthusiast Larry Stark began contributing theater reviews with the second issue. When the insert idea did not pan out, the trio continued Boston After Dark as a weekly free paper.

Larry Stark American journalist

Larry Stark is an American journalist and reviewer best known for his in-depth coverage of the Boston theater scene at his website, Theater Mirror. In newspapers and online, Stark has written hundreds of reviews of local productions and Broadway tryouts from 1962 to the present. His Boston readers have given him such labels as "head theater angel of Massachusetts" and "Dean of the alternative theater critics."

A year after the launch, Hanlon sold off his half to Lewis. For three years, Boston After Dark kept the four-page format, with Lewis as publisher, Jane Steidemann as editor, Stephen M. Mindich as ad salesman and Stark as full-time theater critic and copy editor, plus film reviews by Deac Rossell, who later went on to become head of programming at London's National Film Theatre.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.


As the paper expanded, Mindich acquired a half interest. Stark quit in 1972 and began reviewing for the rival Cambridge Phoenix, which had begun October 9, 1969, started by Jeffrey Tarter. The first managing editor of the Cambridge Phoenix was April Smith, who later became a novelist (Good Morning, Killer) and TV writer-producer ( Cagney & Lacey , Lou Grant , Nightmares & Dreamscapes ). [2]

<i>Cagney & Lacey</i> American television series

Cagney & Lacey is an American television series that aired on the CBS television network for seven seasons from March 25, 1982, to May 16, 1988. A police procedural, the show starred Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly as New York City police detectives who led very different lives: Christine Cagney (Gless) was a career-minded single woman, while Mary Beth Lacey (Daly) was a married working mother. The series was set in a fictionalized version of Manhattan's 14th Precinct. For six consecutive years, one of the two lead actresses won the Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Drama, a winning streak matched only once since in any major category by a show.

<i>Lou Grant</i> (TV series) television series

Lou Grant is an American drama television series starring Ed Asner in the title role as a newspaper editor that aired on CBS from September 20, 1977, to September 13, 1982. The series was the third spin-off of the sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Lou Grant was created by The Mary Tyler Moore Show co-creators James L. Brooks and Allan Burns, along with Gene Reynolds.

<i>Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King</i> anthology TV series

Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King is an eight-episode anthology series on TNT based on short stories written by Stephen King. It debuted on July 12, 2006, and ended its run on August 2, 2006. Although most of them are from the collection of the same name, there are some stories from different collections by King. A trailer confirming a DVD release of the series was made available in October 2006. The series was filmed entirely in Melbourne, Australia.

Following a two-week writers' strike in August 1972, the Cambridge Phoenix was sold to Boston After Dark. Mindich's merger then became known as The Boston Phoenix, with Boston After Dark used as the name for the paper's arts and entertainment section, as well as the nameplate for a free edition of the Phoenix distributed on college campuses in Boston. In the conflicts between writers and management, ousted writers immediately started another weekly, The Real Paper (which began August 2, 1972 and continued until 1981), while management continued the Boston Phoenix.

In 1988, the company that owns the Phoenix, Phoenix Media/Communications Group, bought a similar publication in neighboring Providence, Rhode Island called The NewPaper, which had been founded in 1978 by Providence Journal columnist Ty Davis. [3] [4] It continued under the NewPaper name until 1993, when it became the Providence Phoenix. [3] In 1999, PM/CG branched out into Portland, Maine by creating the Portland Phoenix. That same year the nameplate changed from Phoenix B.A.D. to The Boston Phoenix. From 1992 through 2000, there was also a Worcester Phoenix, but it folded due to Worcester's dwindling arts market.

In 2005, the Phoenix underwent a major redesign, switching from a broadsheet/Berliner format to a tabloid format and introduced a new logo in order to increase its appeal to younger readers. [5]

Towards the end of its existence, The Phoenix had a weekly circulation of 253,000, and its website featured 90% of the paper's content, as well as extra content not included in the paper. [6]

Mergers, closures and ownership change

On August 1, 2012, it was announced that Stuff Magazine and the Boston Phoenix newspaper would merge and the result would be a weekly magazine to be called The Phoenix, to debut in the fall of 2012. [7] The first issue of the new, glossy-paper Phoenix had a cover date of September 21, 2012. [8] On March 14, 2013, the publisher announced that the Boston Phoenix would fold effective as of the March 15, 2013 print edition, though the Portland and Providence papers would be unaffected. [9] In October 2014, The Phoenix announced that their Providence paper would also cease publication, with last issue being the October 17 issue. [10]

The Boston Phoenix published its last issue on March 14, 2013. A statement from publisher Mindich in that issue blamed the 2007 financial crisis and changes in the media business, particularly the downturn in print advertising revenue, as the reasons for the closing. [11]

In November 2014, Mindich sold the Portland Phoenix to the Portland News Club LLC, publishers of The Portland Daily Sun . [12] Although the Daily Sun would cease publication one month later, the Portland Phoenix continues to be published by the new owners weekly. The current editor at the Portland Phoenix is Nick Schroeder, who returned to the position after leaving it with the change in ownership in 2014.

In January 2019, the owner of the since-renamed Country News Club, Mark Guerringe, announced that the Portland Phoenix would move from once weekly to bi-weekly. In February, the paper ceased publication altogether, with an announcement that the paper had folded coming in April. In an interview with the Portland Press Herald , Guerringue said he may try to relaunch the Portland Phoenix on a membership basis or as a non-profit, funded by ads for Maine's legal marijuana industry. The Portland Phoenix’s website is still live as of May 2019. [13]


After the closing of the Boston Phoenix and the Providence Phoenix, Mindich reassured the public that the websites would be maintained, and the online and print archives would be preserved. Sometime in 2014, the websites ceased to function and when they did start to come back in 2015, the sites responded slowly and intermittently. As of 2018, they are dark.

In November 2015, The Boston Globe announced that Mindich, with the help of former Phoenix columnist and current Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy, [14] had donated the Phoenix's archives to Northeastern University’s Snell Library Archives and Special Collections. [15] [16] The gift also included other publications associated with the Phoenix including Boston After Dark, the Portland, Providence and Worcester Phoenix editions; El Planeta , Stuff and Stuff at Night magazines, and early issues of The Real Paper; The eventual goal is to digitize all issues beginning in 1965 and make the text searchable online as well as give access to the websites. Hard copies of the publications are currently available to the public at Snell Library. [15] [17]

Records from WFNX were also donated to Northeastern University’s [18] Snell Library Archives and Special Collections. [15] [16]


Over the years, PMCG acquired radio stations in Boston, Portland and Providence, notably the Boston alternative rock radio station WFNX. The company owned stations serving Metro Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine. The radio stations covered the same music, arts and political scene as the paper and sold to many of the same advertisers. The Maine station, WPHX, was sold to the owner of WXEX in 2011, while on May 16, 2012, the over the air signal and broadcast tower for the Boston station WFNX was sold to Clear Channel Communications and New Hampshire station WFEX has been sold to Blount Communications, the latter two transactions subject to FCC approval. Following FCC approval of the sale, WFNX stopped broadcasting on Tuesday, July 24, 2012; the webcast ended in May 2013. Former WFNX DJs and personalities Julie Kramer, Adam 12, Henry Santoro, and Paul Driscoll joined and formed Radio BDC, another internet radio station.

Currently the WFNX call letters belong to the former WXRG in Athol, Massachusetts; the station simulcasts WXRV 92.5 from Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Records from WFNX were also donated to Northeastern University’s Snell Library Archives and Special Collections. [19] [16]


The Phoenix received many awards for excellence in journalism, including honors from the New England Press Association, the Penny-Missouri Newspaper Awards, the American Bar Association Gavel Awards, Michael J. Metcalfe Diversity in Media Awards and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards.

In 1994, Phoenix classical music writer Lloyd Schwartz was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. [20]

Related Research Articles

WFNX was an alternative rock radio station in Boston, Massachusetts, that operated as a commercial broadcast radio station from 1983 until July 24, 2012, and as an internet-only stream from October 30, 2012 to March 19, 2013. WFNX was owned by the Phoenix Media/Communications Group and was promoted as the broadcast cousin of the Boston Phoenix, the Boston area's former alternative media newspaper. The station ceased broadcast following the shutting down of the Boston Phoenix the previous week.

MBTA Commuter Rail Greater Boston rail system

The MBTA Commuter Rail system serves as the commuter rail arm of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's transportation coverage of Greater Boston in the United States. Trains run over 398 miles of track to 137 different stations, with 58 stations on the north side with the remaining 79 stations on the south. It is operated under contract by Keolis, which took over operations on July 1, 2014 from the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR).

DigBoston—formerly known as the Weekly Dig and known colloquially as The Dig—is a free alternative newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts. It covers news in the Greater Boston area and offers commentary on music, arts, politics, business, film, sex, food, drink and more, as well as providing local bar, entertainment and club listings. DigBoston is distributed Thursdays, free of charge, in self-serve newspaper dispensers located throughout the city, as well as in local businesses.

An alternative newspaper is a type of newspaper that eschews comprehensive coverage of general news in favor of stylized reporting, opinionated reviews and columns, investigations into edgy topics and magazine-style feature stories highlighting local people and culture. Its news coverage is more locally focused, and their target audiences are younger than those of daily newspapers. Typically, alternative newspapers are published in tabloid format and printed on newsprint. Other names for such publications include alternative weekly, alternative newsweekly, and alt weekly, as the majority circulate on a weekly schedule.

<i>Telegram & Gazette</i> Newspaper in Worcester, Massachusetts

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<i>Portland Press Herald</i> Daily newspaper in Portland, Maine

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New England Cable News US television network

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Two popular American sports were invented in New England. Basketball was invented by James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891. Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1895. Also, the first organized ice hockey game in the United States is widely believed to have been played in Concord, New Hampshire in 1883.

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  2. "April Smith (I)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  3. 1 2 "The NewPaper" . Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  4. Bilow, Michael (October 24, 2014). "Ty Davis: NewPaper Founder on the Closing of the Providence Phoenix". The Motif. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  5. Reidy, Chris (16 June 2005). "Boston Phoenix hopes to fly higher with new look". Boston Globe .
  6. "Press Release". Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  7. Nixed Archived 2012-12-01 at the Wayback Machine ,, August 2012.
  8. van der Pool, Lisa (1 August 2012). "Stuff Magazine Folds; Boston Phoenix to Re-Launch as a glossy". Boston Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  9. "Boston Phoenix to close". 14 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  10. Nesi, Ted (9 October 2014). "Providence Phoenix to publish last issue next week". TVL Broadcasting LLC. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  11. Mindich, Stephen (14 March 2013). "The End: Boston Phoenix publishes final issue today - Statement from publisher Stephen M. Mindich". Boston Phoenix. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  12. Vaccaro, Adam (November 13, 2014). "Portland Phoenix Finds New Owners as Dig Heads North to Maine". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  13. Murphy, Edward D. (April 2, 2019). "Publisher folds Portland Phoenix but hopes ads for legal pot can revive it". Portland Press Herald .
  14. "Dan Kennedy - School of Journalism - College of Arts, Media and Design - Northeastern University".
  15. 1 2 3 "Archives & Special Collections - Northeastern University Libraries".
  16. 1 2 3 "Boston Phoenix publisher donates archives to Northeastern - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  17. "The Boston Phoenix's archives are coming to Northeastern". Media Nation. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  18. "Northeastern University: a leader in global experiential learning in Boston, MA".
  19. "Search for Site Content - Northeastern University Libraries".
  20. "About Us". The Phoenix. Retrieved 2012-06-20.