The Village Voice Is Ending Its Weekly Print Edition


The Village Voice Is Ending Its Weekly Print Edition

The venerable Village Voice, a NY newsstand staple since its 1955 inception, bid farewell Tuesday to its print edition.

After more than 60 years, The Village Voice is stopping the presses. In his statement, he noted that when The Voice converted to a free weekly, "Craigslist was in its infancy, Google and Facebook weren't yet glimmers in the eyes of their founders, and alternative weeklies - and newspapers everywhere - were still packed with classified advertising".

CEO and newspaper lover Peter Barbey, who purchased the then-struggling paper in October 2015, announced that in addition to a continuing digital presence, the Voice will also still sponsor events like the Pride Awards and the Obie Awards. Barbey also invested in better paper stock - sometimes a sig that a grim ending is near - and he increased print distribution by more than 50 percent to 120,000 -the Voice's total circulation before it went free in 1996. There's a lot of competition, and some of the things that brought in revenue for papers like the Voice-like real estate ads-no longer fill the coffers.

Barbey, the president of The Reading Eagle newspaper in Pennsylvania, bought the Voice in 2015. But Barbey said it shouldn't. "That business has moved online-and so has the Voice's audience". Soon after, the union crowdfunded more than $7,000 in the event of a strike.

They chronicled a part of NY (and the nation at large) not often seen in the more mainstream dailies. It launched the careers of numerous authors and journalists, and started a trend of alt-weeklies across the country, many of which, like the Voice, had run into financial hardship with the advent of online media.

Over the years, the Village Voice has fostered the talents of writers including investigative reporters Jack Newfield and Wayne Barrett, and writers Nat Hentoff, Karen Durbin, Ken Auletta, James Wolcott, Hilton Als, and Colson Whitehead. "I first read The Village Voice in print as a student in the 1970s-that was how I first encountered it and how it became as important to me as it did", Mr. Barbey said.

A Voice spokesman said it had not yet been decided when the title would stop being printed.

"It was that The Village Voice was alive, and that it changed in step with and reflected the times and the ever-changing world around it", he said.