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Boston Phoenix
Phoenix logo.jpg
Type Alternative weekly
Format Tabloid
Owner Phoenix Media/Communications Group
Publisher Stephen M. Mindich
Editor Peter Kadzis
Founded 1966
Headquarters 126 Brookline Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
United States
Official website

The Phoenix is the name of several alternative weekly newspapers published in the United States by Phoenix Media/Communications Group of Boston, Massachusetts including the Boston Phoenix, the Providence Phoenix, the Portland Phoenix and the now-defunct Worcester Phoenix. These papers emphasize local arts and entertainment coverage as well as lifestyle and political coverage from a liberal perspective.

The papers are somewhat similar in format and editorial content to the Village Voice and compete for a similar niche in the New England market with the Weekly Dig.



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 didn't 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. 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 and Dreamscapes). [1]

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. 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.

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.[2]

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.[1]


Over the years, PMCG acquired radio stations in Boston, Portland and Providence, notably the Boston alternative rock radio station WFNX. The company currently owns stations serving Metro Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine. The radio stations cover the same music, arts and political scene as the paper and sell to many of the same advertisers.


The Phoenix has 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.

In 1994, Phoenix classical music writer Lloyd Schwartz was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism.[2]

Appearance in other media

The Providence Phoenix appears in the 2009 documentary Happy Endings? as part of their role in the ongoing debate on prostitution in Rhode Island.[3] The film follows women in Asian massage parlors in Rhode Island who advertise in the Providence Phoenix "Adult" section and includes interviews with the editor of The Phoenix and an advertising representative.[4]


  1. ^ Press Release
  2. ^ The Phoenix, "About Us"
  3. ^ Arditi, Lynn (2009-05-24). "Film Chronicles RI's Asian Brothels". Providence Journal.  
  4. ^


External links



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