Has Blow Mag (Worcester Mag) jumped the shark?

By Rosalie Tirella

The boyfriend and I decided to go to Blow Mag’s (Worcester Mag’s) Turtle Boy event last night in the Canal District (fancy pants talk for Green Island). We went a few years ago and stayed ’til the end because, while there weren’t tons of people (for all the full-page Worcester Magazine ads/hype Worcester Magazine gave their event), there were enough folks at that Turtle Boy to make the night feel like a true night out – a true event.

This time around – last night’s Turtle Boy? A total bust. Deadsville. Nowhere land. As of 8 p.m., there seemed to be about 30 people doing the Turtle Boy! A handfull of folks! So depressing! So disheartening! We’d look into the clubs and bars where the bands/musicians were playing and we’d see TWO people at the bar or 14 people at tables listening to the tunes. Music/bands that were hyped and hyped and hyped in full-page, color ads (a cover story, too!) in recent issues of Worcester Magazine. We couldn’t believe our eyes!

“It’s dead!” I told the boyfriend as we headed back to the car – to go to Shrewsbury Street for coffee (turns out Worcester’s Little Italy was buzzin’!).

“Nothing works in this town,” he said and sighed.

No, the Turtle Boy event doesn’t work in this town. And I’ll take it another step: Worcestrer Mag itself (the “new” name for the “new” Worcester Magazine) doesn’t work in this town. Any more.

And why should it? For all the happy pappy talk the Worcester Mag entertainment columnist – Doreen Manning – does all over the paper and all the blabbing their reporter Scott Zobak (who co-ordinated this Turtle Boy event) does, no one is listening. No one gives a shit.

And why should they? The super-rat Kirk Davis, president of the company and new owner of Worcester Mag (he bought it last year), is an asshole. His company reflects his asshole-ness and super-rat qualities. First the new crew comes in and tells the old Worcester Magazine staff they will not lose their jobs. They spend an hour per person – talking to all the editorial staffers. And then they fire them! They send their cartoonist Doug Chapel, who was cartooning for them for 5 years, an e-mail to tell him to fuck off. His services are no longer needed at this Worcester Magazine. This was before they shrank his half page cartoon space to the size of a cocktail napkin. Fired by email! How class-less can you get! (Doug now runs his cartoon – for an entire half page – in my paper, InCity Times.)

When these new Holden super rats dumped old Worcester Magazine music writers Chet Wiliamson and Charlene Arsenault (both popular, real-life MUSICIANS who play all over Worcester County), did they think that Charlene and Chet – and their readers/fans, fellow musicians/artist pals – would just roll over and forget the whole nightmare happened? Did they think they would get people’s support – no matter how much ass-smooching they did? These two entertainment reporters knew everybody (musically speaking) and when they left they took their musician pals and their fans with them. The new Blow Mag Turtle Boy shin-dig should have been a ghost town! (Which it was!)

The super-rats at “the new” Worcester Mag deluded themselves. They thought life would go on as it had. That the music people would come out for their show. Fat chance. They boycotted it.

Let’s look at this new Blow Mag crew: President Kirk Davis lives in the Boston/Metro West area and works for a metro/Boston newspaper group. Not local. Not the teeniest bit connected the way local writers are. The publisher of Blow Mag – Gareth Charter – sends his kids to a school in NEEDHAM. Why? Because he probably lives around there. Doofus Puss Blow Mag editor Jim Keogh (from the Holden paper) is so full of himself that he doesn’t even know he and his staff are pointless. Irrelevent.

The “new” Worcester Mag has jumped the shark.

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