Fuse News: Another New England Alt-Weekly Bites the Dust

By Debra Cash


When owner and publisher Stephen M. Mindich closed the venerable weekly Boston Phoenix in March, 2013, the Phoenix‘s Portland and Providence editions got a reprieve.

No longer.

After a 35+ year run, writers for the paper learned today that the Providence Phoenix will be shutting its doors after next week’s issue. This news does not yet appear on the Providence Phoenix‘s website.

There will probably be the usual explanations. As our esteemed pal Mark Jurkowitz, a Phoenix alum, reported for The Pew Research Journalism Project, a survey by the American Society of Newspaper Editors noted that “the number of full-time newsroom jobs in 2012 (the last year for which complete data are available) slipped to 38,000. That is the lowest number since the society began counting in 1978.” Digital and digital/print hybrids like the Phoenix are not picking up the slack for paying jobs. Unpaid punditry, of course, is in excellent supply.

As he left the Providence Phoenix last March, former associate publisher Steve Brown was quoted as saying “You want to be part of a sunrise industry. It’s hard to deny that newspapers are now a sunset industry.’’

Another one bites the dust.

c 2014 Debra Cash


  1. Robert Israel on October 10, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Reading this bit of sad news struck me personally: my first reviews appeared in the Providence NewPaper, later bought by the Phoenix. For ten years (until I relocated to Boston), I wrote for them every week, and they published my profiles on artists, actors and musicians as well. They were supportive of my work, including two pieces I dispatched from Japan when I traveled there on a reporting fellowship. This comes on the heels of a layoff at the Providence Journal who terminated the employment of (among others) Bob Kerr, a 43-year veteran columnist.

  2. Debra Cash on October 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    And now, just a week later, comes news that the San Francisco Bay Guardian is shutting its doors, too, after 48 years.


    Another reason outlets like the Arts Fuse are so very important. Support us, kind readers!

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