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Billionaire Village Voice Owner Tells Staff He's Closing the Paper Because It Doesn't Earn Enough
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=46368"><span class="small">Emily Q. Hazzard, ThinkProgress</span></a>   
Saturday, 01 September 2018 13:08

Hazzard writes: "The Village Voice announced Friday it would stop publishing after 63 years. A year ago it stopped publishing in print, despite promises from the company's new owner, Peter D. Barbey, to invest in and revitalize the famed publication."

Lopez and his wife,The closure of The Village Voice is the latest body blow for alternative weeklies. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Lopez and his wife,The closure of The Village Voice is the latest body blow for alternative weeklies. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


Billionaire Village Voice Owner Tells Staff He's Closing the Paper Because It Doesn't Earn Enough

By Emily Q. Hazzard, ThinkProgress

01 September 18


Owner Peter Barbey can't bankroll a public good like The Village Voice?

he Village Voice announced Friday it would stop publishing after 63 years. A year ago it stopped publishing in print, despite promises from the company’s new owner, Peter D. Barbey, to invest in and revitalize the famed publication. Forbes recently estimated that Barbey was worth about $6 billion, but he cited “business realities” in his statement to staff as the reason for closing the newspaper just three years after acquiring it.

Barbey did not respond to a ThinkProgress request for comment.

The closure of The Village Voice is the latest body blow for alternative weeklies — free local papers that cover a city’s news, arts, and nightlife. Baltimore City Paper closed after four decades of publication; its death came at the hands of parent company Tronc. Philadelphia City Paper, the Boston Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Metro Pulse, and dozens of other alternative weeklies have closed. The Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s list of member publications has shrunk by about 20 percent since 2009.

Just as troubling is that the weeklies often are bought up by their local newspapers — historically the alt-weekly’s main competition. The Baltimore Sun Media Group had bought up City Paper; the Chicago Sun Times bought the Chicago Reader in 2012; the San Francisco Bay Guardian and SF Weekly were bought up by their rival’s parent company.

The Village Voice’s closure at the hands of a billionaire out-of-towner cuts especially deep: it was the biggest alt-weekly, but it was the paper of record for the genre, and established the candid, fearless voice that sets alt-weeklies apart from the daily papers.

Barbey reportedly told the staff he was “still trying to save” the Voice, but did not appear to offer specifics.


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+4 # Citizen Mike 2018-09-01 21:59
he village voice died a long time ago when it let go of Feiffer and Hentoff. Since then it has been demoted form a vital topical weekly to an entertainment guide with filler features. As for what it became, its actual death is long overdue but I will always remember it when it was in its prime in the 60s.
 
 
+2 # relegn 2018-09-02 06:40
The end of the Village Voice is a shame. I spent most of the 70's buying and reading the alternative press in Virginia and it was a big part of how I kept up with stories the major papers didn't write about.
 
 
+3 # jwb110 2018-09-02 11:35
Just another way to make Freedom of the Press languish. These papers have always represented a stance that was counter to mainstream press. The mainstream press will do anything to silence an alternative position. All in the name of profit and all for the benefit of silencing the "other" opinion. It's sad really because it is so small minded just like most mainstream newspapers are.