(Alexandria Neason’s article appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, 8/31; via the Drudge Report.)
THE VILLAGE VOICE IS SUSPENDING ALL EDITORIAL CONTENT and will lay off half its staff effective immediately, according to a member of the staff.
Peter Barbey, who bought the famed alt-weekly from Voice Media Group in 2015, announced the decision today in a conference call. CJR acquired audio of the call from a Voice staff member.
“Today is kind of a sucky day. Due to the business realities, we are going to stop publishing Village Voice new material,” said Barbey on the call. “About half the staff, it’ll be last day today. About half the staff staying on to wind things down and to work on the archive project.”
I worked at the Village Voice from June 2016 through August 2017, a tumultuous period of time that saw constant editorial change. Will Bourne, who was hired by Barbey in January 2016, was abruptly fired in August of the same year. The newspaper went months with no editor-in-chief, and in December 2016,Stephen Mooallem was hired from Harper’s Bazaar. He quietly left the company in May of this year, but not before Barbey last summer ended the print version of the Voice and subsequentlylaid off 13 of its remaining 17 unionized employees, who had for months been deadlocked in contract negotiations. (I was a member of the union negotiating committee.)