Boston Phoenix ceasing publication

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March 14, 2013, 3:29 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Boston) - For 47 years, it has existed under the Boston Phoenix name; now, lack of revenue has driven the weekly alternative publication out of business.

"It was like being punched in the gut, just so sad," said classical music editor Lloyd Schwartz.

It was 1975, long before his locks turned white and he won a Pulitzer for classical music criticism, that Lloyd Schwartz got his start at the Boston Phoenix.

That came to an abrupt and painful end in a sudden newsroom announcement Thursday afternoon that the latest issue is the final issue of the alternative weekly source for the arts.

The publication, both in print and online, will cease to exist, making it a casualty of the changing economy.

"This is all not about advertising dollars, it's not about journalism, the demand for the Phoenix on line and in print is pretty much insatiable. If we had more money we could print more copies," said executive editor Peter Kadzis.

Even just a quick perusal through the pages, turned glossy from newsprint back in September as a way to stave off the end, reveals the multitude of local advertisers and the lack of national sponsors.

Northeastern University assistant professor of journalism Dan Kennedy, a former 14-year Phoenix staffer, says it became many other alternative voices for readers and places to post classified ads.

"It was, you know, 'We need a bass player, I need a roommate, I want a girlfriend.' I mean that's what filled the classifieds in every alt weekly, including the Phoenix. And that's just gone. It's gone to Craigslist and it's never coming back," Kennedy said.

Kadzis says there will be 50 people out of work, himself among them. He started reading the Phoenix when he was 14 and worked here for the past 25 years.

"They've been the best years of my life professionally, so I'm sad to go down with the ship, but I'm very proud to have sailed on the ship," Kadzis said.

Recently, the Phoenix gained acclaim for its coverage of the Occupy movement.

"I'm upset to hear it, yes, I've always looked at the Phoenix, even before I moved here to Boston," one reader told us.

Loyal readers aren't taking this well.

Neither of course, is Lloyd Schwartz who is a music professor at UMass Boston, but who knows most of his colleagues do not have a safety net of their own.

"I just feel terrible for everyone. It's a really great loss. It's a great loss, there's nothing else like it," Schwartz said.

It will continue in Providence and Portland, just not in Boston.

Wfnx.com radio is finished as well.

Tags: Josh Brogadir, Peter Kadzis, Boston Phoenix, Portland Phoenix, Providence Phoenix, Boston Phoenix closing
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