Boston Phoenix goes glossy

Joseph P. Kahn writes in a front-page Boston Globe story:

This Thursday, The Boston Phoenix will formally merge with its sister publication, Stuff, a glossy biweekly, into a publication called simply The Phoenix. As a newsprint entity, the old Boston Phoenix will cease to exist.

Succeeding in a rapidly changing media environment could be a tough challenge for the new magazine. Long-established alternative weeklies in other cities — New York’s Village Voice, the Chicago Reader, and the Washington City Paper among them — have recently been downsized or sold. …

Like many publications, including The Boston Globe, the Phoenix has suffered financially from the migration of classified advertising to the Web in recent years. Phoenix Media is a privately held company and does not release revenue figures. Twenty years ago, however, the newspaper published four thick sections weekly. Those days are long gone.

* A hybrid rises from the old Boston Phoenix (