At least 40 members of the Boston Phoenix staff apparently lost their jobs yesterday because the owner of the Boston Phoenix magazine/newspaper, an elderly rich hip capitalist named Stephen Mindich, decided that Boston Phoenix readers should no longer be able to pick up that publication for free on the streets of Boston. Yet owning an "alternative" newspaper which was Democratic Party-oriented in its political slant, like the Boston Phoenix, was apparently a quite lucrative way of making money until the 21st-century for Mindich--whose personal wealth was estimated at over $70 million about 10 years ago. As a December 25, 1996 column item in the now-defunct Downtown/Aquarian Weekly article noted in 1996:
"Since he bought his `alternative' newspaper in 1970 from his hip capitalist business partner, for example, Boston Phoenix owner Stephen Mindich has amassed a personal fortune that exceeds $25 million, according to New Fortunes 1994: Biographical Profiles of 650 America's Emerging Wealth Holders.
Founded by Jim Lewis in 1966, the Phoenix was originally called Boston After Dark until Mindich purchased a competing newspaper, The Cambridge Phoenix, in 1975; and renamed the merged publication The Boston Phoenix. Prior to 1969, Boston After Dark had been distributed for free [as the Boston Phoenix has been in most of its post-1996 history] In 1982, the Phoenix owner also used his surplus wealth to purchase Boston radio station WFNX; and in the 1990s, Mindich also owned the Mass Web Printing Col, in addition to taking in over $10 million a year from Phoenix ad sales [in the late 20th-century]."
In the early 21st-century, Mindich also apparently owned some valuable real estate property in the neighborhood around the Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park baseball stadium.