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PROVIDENCE PHOENIX TO CEASE PUBLICATION; FAREWELL ISSUE WILL BE THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16

I wish I could report otherwise, but it’s true: the Providence Phoenix will be shutting down after 36 years in operation. Next week’s issue - distributed Thursday, October 16 - will be our last.

Until then, you can follow the latest mournful chatter on Twitter (@phileil, @provphoenix) and Facebook.

We would also like to extend an invitation to readers, former writers, advertisers, and any folks who are sorry to see the paper go, to send along testimonials for potential publication in our final issue (or online, when we run out of printed space). Feel free to send those thoughts to me at peil@phx.com, or include them in the comments on this post.

Some questions to consider: what is a favorite Providence Phoenix memory you have? What will you miss about the Providence Phoenix, and why?

Yesterday’s full press release is included below:

October 9, 2014

*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

THE PROVIDENCE PHOENIX TO CEASE PUBLICATION; FAREWELL ISSUE TO BE DISTRIBUTED ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16

The Phoenix Media/Communications Group owner and publisher, Stephen Mindich, announced today that, with the issue dated October 17, the Providence Phoenix — the 36-year-old alternative news and arts weekly — will cease publication.

“It is unquestionably sad to see the Providence Phoenix cease publishing and realizing the void it will leave,” said Phoenix Media/Communications Group COO Everett Finkelstein. “I’m, however, somewhat gratified, knowing we’ve left an indelible mark on our loyal readers who for 36 years have turned to us for our unique coverage of the rich culture, politics, and lifestyles of our community. But the unhappy reality of today’s media world is that the continual shrinkage of print advertising revenue and the increasing costs of producing an award-winning newspaper such as the Providence Phoenix made this no longer economically viable.”

The Providence Phoenix’s Farewell Issue will look back at the paper’s history, with comments from past writers, editors, and other luminaries. The issue will also include a portfolio of longtime Phoenix photographer Richard McCaffrey’s best shots, and more.

Below is the full text of Mindich’s statement to Providence Phoenix staff:

“About a year and a half ago when the decision to shutter the Boston Phoenix was made, it was my deep desire to keep publishing the Providence Phoenix and keep its extraordinary legacy alive.

“Sadly, after making massive budgetary adjustments in order to trim the costs of operations to a level where we could at least financially break-even, while also ensuring we could keep the paper’s editorial quality at the exceptional level we all demanded - the raw reality of continued losses month after month finally had to be confronted. After an enormous amount of analysis looking for resolutions and growth opportunities, along with profound personal soul-searching, I have made the difficult decision that the time has come to close the Providence Phoenix.

“There is no adequate way to thank everyone here today, and all of those who over the years have devoted their efforts and amazing talents to this marvelous enterprise and to our Phoenix family.

“When the final issue is put to bed, printed and distributed and we thank our many readers and advertisers, the City of Providence, and the State of Rhode Island – we do so with great pride in knowing that during the decades we have been here we made a difference, and for that we should all be truly proud.

“Again, my deepest gratitude and sincerest thanks to each and every one of you.”

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