The Phoenix (newspaper)
|Owner||Phoenix Media/Communications Group|
|Publisher||Stephen M. Mindich|
|Headquarters||126 Brookline Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
The Phoenix was the name of several alternative weekly newspapers published in the United States by Phoenix Media/Communications Group of Boston, Massachusetts including the Providence Phoenix, the Portland Phoenix and the now-defunct Boston Phoenix and Worcester Phoenix. These papers emphasize local arts and entertainment coverage as well as lifestyle and political coverage from a liberal perspective.
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.  The first issue of the new, glossy-paper Phoenix had a cover date of September 21, 2012.  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. 
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, and a student there, James T. Lewis, became Hanlon's ad manager.
Boston After Dark began March 2, 1966, and theater buff 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.
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.
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).
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 Rhode Island called the NewPaper, which is now the Providence Phoenix. 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.
The Phoenix has a weekly circulation of 253,000, and its website features 90% of the paper's content, as well as extra content not included in the paper.
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, but continues to stream over the internet. Former WFNX DJs and personalities Julie Kramer, Adam 12, Henry Santoro, and Paul Driscoll joined Boston.com and formed Radio BDC, another internet radio station.
On March 15th 2013 the publisher of the Boston Phoenix circulated this memo to staffers:
I can state with certainty that this is the single most difficult communication I've ever had to deliver and there's no other way to state it than straightforwardly -
As of now the Boston Phoenix has ceased publishing and wfnx.com will not continue as it is.
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.
Because of their smaller scale of operations and because we believe that they remain meaningful publications to their communities, with some necessary changes to each, it is our intent to keep the Providence and Portland Phoenixes operating and to do so for as long as they remain financially viable. The same is true for Mass Web Printing Co.
I cannot find the words to express how sad a moment this is for me, and I know, for you as well, so I won't try.
What I can and will say is I am extremely proud, as all of you should be, of the highest standards of journalism we have set and maintained throughout the decades in all of our areas of coverage and the important role we have played in driving political and socially progressive and responsible agendas; in covering the worlds of arts and entertainment, food and fashion - always with a critical view, while at the same time promoting their enormous importance in maintaining a healthy society; and in advocating for the recognition and acceptance of a wide range of lifestyles that are so valuable for a vibrant society.
And finally, at least for this moment, I want to thank all of you - and the literally thousands of women and men before you, for lending your talents to our mission over the past 47 years - as I have always said - our staff has been our soul.
And obviously as well, my sincere gratitude to our millions of readers and tens of thousands of advertisers without whom none of what we did accomplish could have been possible or meaningful.
So, that's it. We have had an extraordinary run.—Stephen M. Mindich, March 15, 2013
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, and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards.
- Orlean, Susan (15 March 2013). "Memories of the Boston Phoenix". The New Yorker. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Stuff Magzine Folds; Boston Phoenix to Re-Launch as a glossy
- "Boston Phoenix to close". Boston.com. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
- The Harbus News,
- "April Smith". April Smith. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Press Release". Thephoenix.com. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "The Phoenix, "About Us"". Thephoenix.com. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- Levy, Jo. "The Boston Phoenix: Boston's Alternative Paper Not for the Birds"
- The Real Paper (1972-1981)
- ^ Reidy, Chris. "Boston Phoenix hopes to fly higher with new look". Boston Globe. June 16, 2005.
- Theater Mirror