Tag Archives: Carly Carioli

Where are they now? (Boston Phoenix edition)

Jim Romenesko has posted an update on what happened to Boston Phoenix staff members who lost their jobs when the alt-weekly — a glossy magazine known simply as The Phoenix in its final incarnation — went out of business last March.

phoenixhedIt’s heartening to see how many of my former colleagues landed on their feet, although it would be good to see more of them find full-time media jobs. Among those who did: Carly Carioli, the editor of The Phoenix, and who’s now the executive editor (the number two position) at Boston magazine following a cup of coffee at Boston.com.

Also working full-time at BoMag is S.I. Rosenbaum; political reporter David Bernstein is a contributor there and to WGBH as well. Former editor Peter Kadzis is working part-time at WGBH, and was instrumental in bringing the Boston leg of the Muzzle Awards to WGBHNews.org earlier this summer.

Anyway, not to repeat Romenesko’s entire item. It’s well worth a look. Romenesko is also updating it as new information about ex-Phoenicians becomes available.

Carly Carioli is now tweeting for Boston.com

More good news from the land of the former Phoenicians: Carly Carioli, the last editor of the Boston Phoenix, has been hired by Boston.com, the Boston Globe’s free website. “I’m working on new projects aimed at attracting younger readers,” he tells me.

Carly is as smart as they come and did a great job of steering the Phoenix through its last couple of years — including its final incarnation as a glossy magazine. You can (and should) follow him on Twitter at @carlycarioli.

The Boston Phoenix comes to the end of the road

I’m not even going to try to write a real post about this today. I’m getting bombarded from all directions, and besides that, I’m devastated. But I did want to note quickly, in case you haven’t heard, that The Phoenix — the erstwhile Boston Phoenix, reinvented as a glossy magazine last fall — is closing down, as is its affiliated Internet radio station, WFNX.com.

The Providence and Portland Phoenixes will continue, as well as a few non-journalism businesses.

Here is Doug Most’s report for Boston.com. [5:07 p.m. update: That report now carries Joe Kahn's byline.]

The Phoenix gave me 14 great years, and it’s hard to believe that the end has come. There are way too many people to mention, so I’ll leave it at this: Peter Kadzis and Stephen Mindich were great bosses, smart, tough and loyal. Carly Carioli has done tremendous work on the reinvention, and it’s a tragedy that he ran out of time. I rely on David Bernstein for his deep reporting on politics and Chris Faraone for an alternative look at the news. Here is Mindich in a statement to the staff:

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….

We have had an extraordinary run.

And this is an incredibly sad day.

More: Unlike many who got their start at the Phoenix in their early 20s, I was 34 years old and thought my journalism career was over. In the late 1980s I had tried my hand at launching a regional lifestyle magazine in the suburbs northwest of Boston following some years at the Daily Times Chronicle of Woburn. The magazine failed, and I was doing what I could to survive.

I was picked up on waivers in 1991 from the Pilot — yes, the Catholic paper — where I had been doing layout and production. The Phoenix hired me as a copy editor, but I kept an eye out in case something better came along. Yes, I had grown up reading the Phoenix, Boston After Dark and the Real Paper, but any romantic notions I’d had of the alternative press had pretty much dissipated.

Gradually, though, I got sucked in. And when I inherited the media beat in late 1994 from Mark Jurkowitz, I became a made member of the Phoenix family. It was the most formative experience of my career. Without the Phoenix, I can’t imagine what I’d be doing today — PR for some politician? Ugh.

A smart take on the glossified (Boston) Phoenix

I continue to be surprised at the amount of attention The Phoenix has received for its switch from newsprint to glossy paper. The latest to weigh in is Boston magazine, with a smart piece by Peter Vigneron on the alt-weekly’s struggle to survive in a dramatically changed media environment. (Among the many people Vigneron interviews is yours truly.)

The best quote is from editor Carly Carioli, who tells Vigneron: “We have said for decades that we are a magazine in newsprint form. Now we’re a magazine in magazine form.” Truth. Nice plug, too, for David Bernstein, whom Vigneron calls “a fine political writer, perhaps the best in the state.”

I only have one quibble. At one point Vigneron asks, “But can you save a publication that for many years has been neither lucrative nor especially relevant?”

As Vigneron himself notes, circulation remains north of 100,000. Like all publications, The Phoenix is fighting for its life. But a newspaper/magazine that’s picked up by more than 100,000 people each week is not irrelevant.

On another front entirely, artist Karl Stevens announced in a public Facebook post Monday that The Phoenix has canceled his weekly cartoon, “Failure,” allegedly over his mocking of Bud Light, an advertiser. I hope the cancellation proves temporary, and I welcome clarification and further explanation in the comments.

Disclosure: I was on staff at The Phoenix from 1991 to 2005, and remain a contributor.

Thursday update: Phoenix editor Carly Carioli tells the Boston Globe that any suggestion “Failure” was discontinued over the Bud Light reference is “categorically false,” adding: “As the Phoenix’s editor in chief, it was my sole decision to discontinue ‘Failure.’ There were no sponsor objections — zero — to this strip or any other that I’m aware of.”

Thursday update II: A very classy statement from Stevens: “After thinking it over and talking with people in the know, I may have misunderstood the reasons for the cancellation of Failure in The Boston Phoenix. I want to apologize publicly for any misinformation that was spread, and would like to continue the otherwise wonderful relationship I have enjoyed with the publication on any future projects.”

The Phoenix gets ready for its close-up

Joe Kahn wrote a smart piece on the future of the Boston Phoenix — ahem, The Phoenix — in Tuesday’s Boston Globe.

As you may know, the current issue of the Phoenix, lowercase the, is the last as a newspaper. This week, The Phoenix will debut as a free weekly glossy magazine, combining news and arts coverage from the Phoenix with some lifestyle content from Stuff, a magazine that will cease to exist as a standalone. And if you’re worried about The Phoenix’s straying from its alternative roots, keep in mind that the Phoenix had lots of lifestyle content in the 1990s. I look at this as a recalibration more than a complete reinvention.

The unusual aspect to this story, and one we Bostonians take for granted, is that the founder, Stephen Mindich, is still at it, and in fact has taken charge of the new publication. In an era of corporate chain media, The Phoenix, at 46, is still proudly independent. Mindich recently talked about his long career with Emily Rooney of “Greater Boston.”

The story of the Boston Phoenix, as with other alternative weeklies, is that it was heavily dependent on classified ads — not just the personals, but everything from a band needing a bass player to a student looking for a roommate. Needless to say, nearly all of those ads have moved to Craigslist.

And at a time when many newspapers, including the Globe, are asking their readers to pick up an increasing share of the costs through home delivery and digital subscriptions, The Phoenix is free both in print and online.

It’s a tough model for the Internet age, but glossy should enable The Phoenix to attract some of the high-end advertising it needs in order to thrive. In that spirit, I think former Phoenix contributor Mark Leccese, now a journalism professor at Emerson College and a blogger for Boston.com, was too pessimistic in his own recent assessment.

I’ve got my collector’s item from last week, and I’m looking forward to grabbing a copy of the new magazine as soon as I can. As most of you know, I was the Boston Phoenix’s media columnist from 1994 to 2005, and I still contribute occasionally.

I wish all the best to Mindich, executive editor Peter Kadzis, editor Carly Carioli and all my friends who are still there. See you tonight.

Copyright hypocrisy at the New York Times

Last Saturday the New York Times posted a PDF of a 1976 article by the legendary Boston sports journalist Clark Booth that appeared in the Real Paper, an alternative weekly that was published for several years in the 1970s. The article accompanied a column by Joe Nocera on football injuries, about which Booth wrote perceptively some 36 years ago.

I have to confess I didn’t think twice about copyright, figuring Booth, whom Nocera interviewed, had given him permission to reproduce his words. But now Boston Phoenix editor Carly Carioli has pointed out — rightly, in my view — that, in fact, the Times has violated the Real Paper’s copyright and that of the photographer(s) whose work was reproduced. And since the Phoenix acquired the Real Paper’s assets when the paper went out of business, the Times must answer to the Phoenix.

The Times’ reproduction clearly fails the fair-use test, most obviously on the grounds that it reposted the Real Paper article not for the purpose of commentary and criticism, but so that its readers could enjoy reading it. I imagine the Times could also get whacked for taking too much of the article (i.e., the whole thing). Even though it would be tough to argue that anyone lost any money as a result of the Times’ actions, another important fair-use test, I’d guess a judge would favor the Phoenix if it ever came to that.

But Carioli is not concerned with the negligible harm the Times has done to the Phoenix so much as he is with the behemoth’s rank hypocrisy. Former executive editor Bill Keller, now a Times columnist, has been obsessed with the nefarious forces whom he believes have been improperly profiting from Times content. And, Carioli notes, the Times reached out and killed a pretty cool iPad app called Pulse merely because it reproduced headlines without permission.

Writing that “copyright in this country is a goddamn mess,” Carioli continues: “We want an internet and an intellectual-property regime that rewards discovery and innovation. We won’t get it with copyright construed the way it is now.”

And we won’t get it with the Times saying one thing and doing another.

Addenda: (1) I had the privilege of copy-editing Clark Booth’s weekly sports column for a short time in 1990, when I was working at the Pilot, for whom he still writes; (2) you can also read Booth in the Dorchester Reporter.

Disclosure: I’m a contributor to the Phoenix, and was a staff member from 1991 to 2005. I have a standing disclosure here, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to remind people.

At the Phoenix, new roles for Gantz, Garelick

The Boston Phoenix has announced more changes to the top of its masthead, as associate arts editor Jon Garelick has been named arts editor, and arts editor Jeffrey Gantz will become managing editor for arts.

The titles are more than semantic, according to an internal memo from new editor Carly Carioli. Jon will be in charge of the paper’s arts coverage, while Jeffrey’s role — a three-month assignment — will consist of easing the transition.

I had the privilege of working with both Jeffrey and Jon during my years at the Phoenix. In fact, Jeffrey was one of several people responsible for hiring me in 1991, as it was he who determined I had performed somewhat less miserably on the Phoenix’s notorious copy-editing test than other candidates.

In addition to being an admirably meticulous copy editor, Jeffrey was an expert on an eclectic variety of subjects that caught his interest — from soccer (I still remember my son, Tim, kicking a ball around with him at a company picnic on Georges Island), to espresso, to which varieties of cheese should be uppercased and which ones lowercased.

Jon, like Jeffrey, is a journalist with a daunting intellect. He has a deep background in music, especially jazz, and is highly regarded in the local arts community. He is also married to well-known local writer Clea Simon.

Jon is originally from Woonsocket, where I spent a couple of years as a student-reporter for the Woonsocket Call in the mid-1970s. Jon, a keen observer of his surroundings, once provided me with a hilarious example of the fractured syntax used by many old-time residents, who speak English that is heavily inflected with the French they learned growing up in Quebec: “Please throw me down the stairs my keys.”

Carly, in his memo, referred to Jeffrey as “a tireless editor, critic, protector of style, and keeper of institutional wisdom,” and to Jon as “a fantastic judge and incubator of raw writing talent.” Best of luck to both of them.

Carly Carioli named editor of the Boston Phoenix

A little more than a month after a shake-up on the business side, the Phoenix Media/Communications Group (PM/CG) has announced some major changes in the newsroom. The most significant: Carly Carioli is the new editor of the Boston Phoenix, replacing Lance Gould. Carioli had been editor of thephoenix.com, which will now be integrated with the rest of the company’s media properties.

Carly tells me he’ll be running the three Phoenix newspapers (Boston, Providence and Portland) and the biweekly glossy magazine Stuff, and will have some responsibilities at WFNX Radio (101.7 FM) as well. He’ll work alongside Peter Kadzis, who moved up from editor of the Phoenix to executive editor of PM/CG in 2006.

Most readers of Media Nation know that I was on staff at the Phoenix from 1991 to 2005, and that I continue to be a member of the extended Phoenix family. So consider this a personal note. I care about what happens at the Phoenix.

Gould came to the paper after I left, but I have worked with him on several stories during the past few years — including just a few days ago. He’s a good editor and a good guy, and I’m sorry that he’s leaving. Kadzis, in a statement, describes the reason for the change this way:

The changes we are making will not save any money. This is about rethinking and re-engineering how we deliver content to our audience — or, I should say, audiences: we have readers devoted to the printed paper, we have users who use nothing but online, we have our audience of WFNX listeners and we have people we are trying to engage via mobile. Our future sits with fashioning these groups into a coherent audience. Not every editor, or every executive, has the skill to help move this forward.

Carioli, now 37, is a rising star both at the Phoenix and on the Boston media scene, and I’m glad he’s getting a greater opportunity to show what he can do. He’s highly regarded in local music circles, and he knows a lot about news — and journalism — as well. He reminded me today that I was among the first people at the Phoenix to urge him to jump onto the management ladder.

Carly has been a leader in figuring out how to bring print, online and social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare together. He started at the Phoenix as an intern in 1993 and joined the staff in 1994. His first job at the paper was the all-important but thankless task of putting together the listings section. His goal as editor, he says, is to reinvent what an alternative news weekly can be in an era when the very term sounds like an anachronism.

“Alternative is what your dad listened to in college, news is what Jon Stewart talks about and weekly is way too long to wait to get what’s going on out in the world,” he says.

Also announced today is the hiring of a new music editor, Michael Marotta, and a new staff writer, Eugenia Williamson. Their backgrounds are described in the press release below. Also, Ashley Rigazio, the online listings coordinator, becomes events editor for the combined print/online operation.

These days, every newspaper faces financial challenges. A year ago, the New York Times Co. was threatening to shut the Boston Globe. The Phoenix, too, is a lot thinner than it used to be. My conversations with friends at the company, though, leave me convinced that they’re in this for the long haul. And I would never bet against owner and publisher Stephen Mindich, one of the smartest, toughest people in the business.

What follows is a statement from PMCG president Brad Mindich and an e-mail to the troops from Carioli.


Web chief Carly Carioli tapped to helm both online and editorial

Move will maximize alent and resources, says PM/CG Executive Editor Peter Kadzis

PM/CG President Brad Mindich sees Phoenix content flowing across multiple platforms: online, in paper, mobile, and radio

New music editor and staff writer also announced

Carly Carioli, who began work at the Boston Phoenix 17 years ago as a music critic, today was named editor of the award-winning weekly.

For the last four years, Carioli, 37, has been Online Editor, responsible for operations and content of the Boston, Providence, and Portland newspapers, WFNX radio, and Stuff magazine.

During Carioli’s tenure, the Phoenix website, thephoenix.com, was named Best Website by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN). In 2009, the New England Press Association awarded the Phoenix its top “convergence” award, for the best storytelling across print and web.

Carioli’s appointment is part of an internal editorial reorganization. Phoenix Online, which had been a free-standing department, is being folded back into the newspaper. As editor of the Boston Phoenix, Carioli will integrate and direct both the online and the editorial staff.

In a first move in that direction, Carioli named Ashley Rigazio, an online listings coordinator, to become Events Editor for the newly combined web and in-paper Arts and Entertainment operation.

Earlier in the day, two new hires were also announced:

Michael Marotta, a music writer from the Boston Herald, will become Phoenix Music Editor, replacing Michael Brodeur, who left the Phoenix for the Boston Globe. And joining the Phoenix as a staff writer will be Eugenia Williamson, a freelance contributor to the Phoenix and the Sunday Globe. Williamson has previously written for Time Out Chicago, Stop Smiling, Venus Zine, and McSweeney’s.

Carioli replaces Lance Gould, who has served as editor of the Boston Phoenix for the last two years.

In his tenure as Online Editor, Carioli oversaw the launch of staff blogs for music, pop culture, film, and politics. He also oversaw the re-launch of thephoenix.com and re-designs of both stuffboston.com and wfnx.com; the launch of thephoenix.tv, the Phoenix’s first online-video venuture, which features exclusive performances by Massachusetts-based musicians from Thurston Moore to Converge; and a podcast that partners with local bookstores, museums, and cultural institutions to record longform readings and talks by the likes of Al Gore, Ozzy Osbourne, Cornel West, and John Irving, to name but a few. For WFNX’s 2009 Best Music Poll and the 2010 SXSW music festival, he oversaw online coverage including live video, mobile blogging, and real-time Twitter updates, as well as traditional reporting that was later re-used in print. He was a panelist at 2010’s South By Southwest Interactive conference on the future of alternative weeklies.

Carioli’s music writing has been anthologized in “The Best Music Writing,” edited by Nick Hornby and published by DeCapo.

Carioli was born and raised in Philadelphia. He studied journalism at Boston University. He is married and has two young daughters.

Of Carioli’s appointment, PM/CG President Brad Mindich said, “Carly will be responsible for unifying our content across platforms: print, online, radio and mobile. This is the future — especially for our forward thinking, educated, and on-the-go audience. It’s critical that our readers, users, and listeners interact with our content in whichever way is best for them.”

PM/CG Executive Editor Peter Kadzis said, “As a music critic, as an editor, and as the architect of the Phoenix’s online growth, Carly has for more than ten years lived his professional life at the intersection of technology and popular culture. For a paper like the Phoenix, that’s the ultimate sweet spot.

“What once were considered challenging circumstances have now become standard operating conditions. But all Phoenix media are heading into the summer on an extremely strong footing. Carly’s appointment together with two new hires is an unmistakable expression of the Mindich family’s commitment to strong journalistic values and the vibrant journalism that results,” said Kadzis .

The Phoenix Media/Communications Group is a private, family-owned business, which began in 1966 as Boston After Dark, a four-page arts-and-entertainment weekly. Today the Boston, Providence, and Portland (Maine) Phoenix newspapers cover a wide range of subjects from politics to the arts to lifestyle.

Below are the contents of an e-mail Carioli wrote and sent to subscribers of thephoenix.com’s various e-mails. It should give you a flavor of what his leadership style will likely be:

From Carly Carioli

Carly Carioli here. As of a few hours ago, I’m the new editor of the Boston Phoenix. Feel free to drop me a line: I’m @carlycarioli on Twitter, or shoot me an e-mail at editor@phx.com.

If you didn’t already know and love the Phoenix, you wouldn’t be getting this e-mail. Whether you signed up for our free sneak-preview movie screenings, or to get the first word on this week’s Phoenix headlines, I want to thank you for supporting local, progressive, independent journalism. I came to the Phoenix over 15 years ago and never left, because I believed — and continue to believe — in what the Phoenix stands for: writing that’s passionate, skeptical, intellectually curious, unconventional, and engaged with its readers.

I’ve been thrilled to write for and edit a newspaper where some of my early heroes got their start: Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Greil Marcus, Susan Orlean, writers who were by turns innovative, irreverent, and irascible. (Thanks to a new partnership, you’ll soon be able to read all 40-plus years of our back issues — right down to the vintage concert ads — through Google’s News Archive project.)

It’s even more thrilling to be editing today’s Phoenix, because this is our moment: the mainstream media is crumbling, corporate boardrooms are losing their choke-hold on popular culture, and new technologies are empowering all of us to be more creative and to build stronger communities. This isn’t the apocalypse; this is the promised land. Our readers have always been early-adopters and forward-thinkers. Unlike other media companies, we don’t think our readers are competing with us. We think you’re one of us. And we’re excited about what we can create together.

If you haven’t checked in with us lately, I urge you to take another look — and to tell us what you like as well as what you don’t. I think you’ll find a voice that rings true. It’s David Bernstein’s nationally recognized political coverage (not to mention his must-read Twitter feed) and Chris Faraone’s gutsy, street-smart reporting. In a city that has pillaged its arts coverage, we’ve got Peter Keough, Boston’s toughest film critic, and Jon Garelick’s award-winning jazz writing. There’s also former Something Awful columnist David Thorpe’s brilliant skewering of the music industry, erstwhile Rolling Stone correspondent Matt Taibbi’s sports-crime blotter, and Maddy Myers’s flame-war-inducing feminist video-gaming critiques. And stay tuned: we’ve got some fantastic new talent coming on board.

We know you’re busy, so for those of you who spend all day on Facebook and Twitter, follow or friend us to stay in touch. See you on the internets.