Providence Phoenix preparing farewell issue

By: Melissa Randall

The Providence Phoenix has been entertaining and informing Rhode Islanders for more than 3 decades. The writers and columnists who tell those stories are heartbroken by the media group’s decision to close.  It’s the end of an era. The witty and colorful paper is now preparing its final issue.

“We weren’t really expecting it– and boom it just happened,” said writer Rudy Cheeks.

The award winning alternative news and arts weekly is the latest victim of the toll the struggling economy has had on the print industry.

The bottom line is, is that there just isn’t the advertising revenue out there to support this type of paper right now,” said Everett Finklestein, Chief Operating Officer for The Providence Phoenix.

About a dozen full time staffers and numerous part timers will now be out of a job. That includes Rudy Cheeks and Chip Young, co–writers of the political satire column, Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World.

“I mean it’s been a big part of my life. We’ve been filing columns every week– and we didn’t take a vacation– every week for years and years and years,” said Cheeks.

“Tremendous  memories. The people we’ve met– we’ve become close with politicians, with people in entertainment who’ve appreciated what we’ve done and we appreciate what they’ve done,” said Young when asked what he would take away from his time with the paper.

Don’t count the controversial duo out. They plan to try and find other jobs in Rhode Island media.

“I hope so,” said Young. “Unfortunately in the help wanted ads they don’t have a category of professional wise asses which is what we are best at.”

The paper will do a farewell edition which will give all its writers one last chance to say good bye before the Providence Phoenix is put to bed.  That will hit news stands October 17th.

© WLNE-TV 2014

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