The Village Voice

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End Of An Era: The Village Voice Shutting Down

August 31, 2018 - 2:09 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- After 63 years in business, the Village Voice -- the nation's first alternative news weekly -- is no more.

The paper shut down its print edition a year ago, but continued publishing stories online.

Gothamist reports owner Peter Barbey, who bought the paper three years ago, told the remaining staff Friday that The Village Voice will no longer be posting any new stories.

As quoted in Gothamist, Barbey told the staff: "Today is kind of a sucky day. Due to, basically, business realities, we're going to stop publishing Village Voice new material."

About half of the publication's staff will be kept on to create an online archive of previously published stories, while the rest of the staff was let go immediately.

As WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg reported, there were about 40 people left on the staff of the Village Voice as of Friday, and 15 or 20 will stay on to develop the archive.

Late Friday, people who worked at the Village Voice rolled boxes on a cart out of the Village Voice’s headquarters on Maiden Lane.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning publication was founded in 1955 by Ed Fancher, Dan Wolf, and the legendary novelist Norman Mailer – all of them World War II veterans.

“This was the paper that really didn’t hold back. You think of the phrase, ‘No holds barred,’” Rosenberg said. The paper was also well known for its watchdog journalism, and theatre, music, and arts coverage.

Bill Liberti is from Staten Island. He grew up with the paper.

"And as a kid, that was a reference paper to go to for all the hot concerts, all the hot bars and things like that, what's coming up, what's not,” he said. “And I liked the writers because they weren't really politically affiliated. They had an independent view."

Fancher told The Nation last year that the Voice started out as a paper where “people on the street could come and write articles, and if the editor was impressed with their sincerity and intelligence,” the article would be published.

Among the famed alumni of the Voice were investigative reporters Wayne Barrett and Tom Robbins, music critics Robert Christgau and Nat Hentoff, gossip columnist Michael Musto, and media critic Richard Goldstein – who also served a term as the paper’s executive editor, published reports noted.

James Baldwin, Tom Stoppard, and Allen Ginsberg also saw their work published in the Voice.

The Village Voice website had also won awards over the years.

The Voice won three Pulitzer Prizes over the years and several awards, and also gave New Yorkers a taste for the arts with theatre reviews and in-depth entertainment listings.