This week marks the beginning of what’s been heralded as a new era in Boston print media, by at least one Boston media organization—one that is bound to overuse the “rise from the ashes” metaphor.
The debut of The Phoenix magazine signals the official merger of Stuff magazine’s vapid editorial voice and the pretentious reporting of The Boston Phoenix,
a newspaper that’s been desperately hoping to remain relevant just as its namesake media empire crumbles to the ground.
Who knows, it could end up being a boon for the Phoenix Media Communications Group. Consider that advertising in the new glossy Phoenix will likely be pricier, which means more revenue—assuming they don’t lose enough advertisers to make any gains moot.
and how long it will take for the Phoenix to lose its voice in a sea of advertisements disguised as fashion reporting and lifestyle features.
Perhaps as a preview of things to come, last week’s Boston Phoenix—the final newsprint edition—offered a series of articles on the Occupy movement, one year later.
An update on the nuances of the legal battles still waged by protesters arrested last fall and a piece on Occupy-inspired student activism paves the way for an insufferable Where Are They Now? spread that manages to reduce the direct action campaign to a who’s who list, followed by a thinly veiled advertisement-interview for a new book about Occupy.
Last month, The Boston Phoenix CEO and publisher Stephen Mindich gave us an idea of what we can expect in the new Phoenix when he sat down with WGBH’s Emily Rooney.
During the interview, Mindich spoke of the need to attract more advertising with the new glossy format of the magazine, which he said, “won’t work until we’re able to attract more advertising.”
So take the worst pseudo-journalism advertorial content about which hip new products should be making dents in our wallets from Stuff and expect to see more of it.
Speaking of advertising, in that same interview Mindich used the word “overblown” to describe concerns over sex trafficking in the pages of the adult ads that take up space in the back of the Boston Phoenix.
To be clear, we at DigBoston are certainly not rooting for the demise of The Phoenix.
Despite our feelings toward Mindich and the fact that he looks like he smells (of patchouli), there are plenty of good people working at that paper, who depend on their jobs.
It’s just not easy to remain optimistic when you consider that in the last few months the Phoenix Media Group has sold or shut down WFNX, El Planeta, G8wave, and TPI, a tele-personals company. And what’s to happen to Mass Web—the printer PMG owns—now that they’ve lost their biggest client?
It’s tough not to wonder if Mindich has his fiddle tuned up in time for his empire to burn to the ground.