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

Tag: Peter Kadzis

Get ready for the 16th Annual Muzzle Awards

When The Boston Phoenix ceased publication in March, I started casting about for a new home for the Muzzle Awards — an annual Fourth of July round-up of outrages against free speech in New England that I began writing in 1998.

On Tuesday we made it official — the 16th Annual Muzzle Awards will be published on Thursday by WGBH News. I talked about the Muzzles on “Boston Public Radio” with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan. We gave a sneak preview of some of the “winners,” including U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

The Muzzles will also be published in The Providence Phoenix and The Portland Phoenix, which are still alive and well.

I think will prove to be a good home base for the Muzzles. Boston civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate, who came up with the idea all those years ago, is continuing with his Campus Muzzles. Former Phoenix editor Peter Kadzis, who’s now at WGBH, was instrumental in bringing the Muzzles to the station and expertly edited them. Also playing key roles were Phil Redo, managing director of WGBH’s radio operations; Linda Polach, executive producer of “Greater Boston” and “Beat the Press”; and Abbie Ruzicka, an associate producer who handled Web production duties.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes …

Talking about the Phoenix tonight on WBZ

I’ll be talking about the late, great Boston Phoenix tonight from 9 to 10 p.m. on “NightSide with Dan Rea,” on WBZ Radio (AM 1030). Also in studio will be longtime Phoenix contributor Harvey Silverglate, and perhaps former editor Peter Kadzis by phone. I hope you can join us.

Peter Kadzis to work as a special contributor to WGBH

Peter Kadzis

Peter Kadzis

Great news about my friend and former editor Peter Kadzis. What follows is a press release from WGBH.

Peter Kadzis, former executive editor of the Boston Phoenix, joined the WGBH News team today as a Special Contributor. Kadzis will work on specific enterprise reporting assignments and contribute to all of WGBH’s news platforms, including radio, television and digital.

“For decades, the Boston Phoenix asked the right questions to get at what was really happening in Boston. While we all miss the Phoenix, I am pleased to welcome Peter Kadzis to the WGBH News team to continue the Phoenix’s strong tradition of hard-hitting, comprehensive local reporting,” said Phil Redo, managing director of WGBH Radio. “There is no shortage of compelling local stories in our region. WGBH continues to grow and invest in local reporting. Peter brings more than 25 years of experience to our newsroom and will be a strong addition to all of our platforms.”

Kadzis, who was born in Brighton, raised in Dorchester and lives in Jamaica Plain, served a number of editorial roles at the Boston Phoenix over 25 years. During his tenure at the standard-bearing weekly, alternative newspaper, Kadzis oversaw the Phoenix’s groundbreaking, local coverage of the Catholic Church sex scandal. Kadzis also directed the Phoenix’s political coverage in Boston, Providence and Portland.

“I am very excited to join the talented and driven WGBH News team,” Kadzis said. “WGBH has shown an unrivaled commitment to local stories and provides a platform to pursue the types of stories we covered at the Phoenix.”

Kadzis provides weekly political analysis on Fox 25, writes for a number of local publications and tweets regularly. Before joining the WGBH News team, he was a guest on a number of WGBH Radio programs, including “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley,” which airs Sundays at 6:30 p.m. on 89.7.

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,

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

Here is Doug Most’s report for [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.

Greg Moore, possibly the Globe’s next editor, wins a big award

Greg Moore

As the Boston Globe seeks to replace departing editor Marty Baron, here’s someone to keep at least one eye on.

Former Globe managing editor Greg Moore has been named the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation for his leadership of the Denver Post. Moore was recently seen in the vicinity of the Globe, according to several people I’ve spoken with, although there’s also talk that he has no desire to return to Boston.

The smart money is on an internal candidate. The names that come up most frequently are metro columnist Brian McGrory, editorial-page editor Peter Canellos and managing editor Caleb Solomon. At The Phoenix, Peter Kadzis is predicting Solomon, and floats several other names as well. But, really, who knows what might happen?

Regardless of who ultimately moves into the glass house being vacated by Baron, congratulations to Greg Moore.

Denver Post file photo.

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, 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.

A memorable remembrance of Kevin White

Kevin White (left), John Silber and John Kenneth Galbraith in 1977

My friend and former editor Peter Kadzis has written a remembrance of the late Boston mayor Kevin White for the Boston Phoenix that is striking in its depth and nuance. Phoenix publisher Stephen Mindich, a White admirer, makes a cameo as well.

Peter grew up in Dorchester and continues to live in the city. His intricate knowledge of Boston’s tribalism helps him negotiate the city’s complexities in a way that few others can match. For instance:

For most of his mayoral career, White was the candidate of middle-class aspiration. White was more than a politician; he was a symbol.

To those already in the middle class and to the far larger number of blue-collar families aspiring to that status, White validated the idea that social and economic mobility was real. A vote for White was a subliminal endorsement of the idea that each generation could expect to better itself.

In contrast, White’s mayoral rivals, School Committeewoman Louise Day Hicks and City Councilor Joseph Timilty essentially defined themselves by not being Kevin White. Hicks and Timilty offered no vision.

Kadzis reminds us that it was the Harvard economist (and Kennedy family intimate) John Kenneth Galbraith who stuck the shiv in White’s aspirations for the vice presidential nomination in 1972 — which, if it had become reality, might have led to a White presidential campaign four years later.

So I was thrilled to find the photo I’ve included here of White and Galbraith making small talk in front of a scowling John Silber five years later. (The occasion was Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler’s birthday.) Clearly White believed in keeping his friends close and his enemies closer.

Photo (cc) by City of Boston Archives and reprinted here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

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, 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,, 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 and re-designs of both and; the launch of, 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’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

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.


Page 2 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén