By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

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.

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  1. charles pierce

    Jeffrey Gantz is, and always has been, da bomb.
    Comhghairdeachas ar an jab nua, old friend.

  2. Linda Lowenthal

    What he said!

  3. Linda Lowenthal

    Jon too, of course.

  4. Karen Schlosberg

    Congratulations to both! Well-deserved.

  5. Thanks for the shout out, Dan! Though I would be lax in my wifely duties if I didn’t point out that Jon has also written for a variety of national publications and won awards for news and book criticism, as well as for a wide variety of music writing. And that his background teaching writing is certainly a factor in his ability to help aspirants.

  6. Wilson Tisdale

    Don’t know Gantz, but I hear only good things about Garelick. We used to get the French word order in Fall River, too — “Throw the horse over the fence a bale of hay.”

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Wilson: Don’t get me started, or I’ll hit you over the head with a four-by-twice.

      I remember the Call’s City Hall reporter, George Farrar, telling me that when he started, in what must have been the 1940s, he got on an elevator that was marked “H” and “D.” He asked the elevator operator what the “H” was for, and he replied, “Hup!” George must have looked puzzled, because he then elaborated: “Hup and down!”

  7. Lisa Deeley Smith

    So what happens to Jeffrey after three months?

  8. Inez Keller

    Way to go, Jon! Let’s celebrate!

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