Today, about a year after going completely digital, and three years after being purchased by Peter Barbey, the Village Voice shut down. The company had approximately 40 employees, half of which were laid off by the owner today. The other half will remain on board for a short time to "wind things down" and archive material. The publication will not publish any new stories.
Barbey stated ""Today is kind of a sucky day. Due to, basically, business realities, we're going to stop publishing Village Voice new material I bought the Village Voice to save it; this isn't exactly how I thought it was going to end up. I'm still trying to save the Village Voice. You had amazing grit, to remain professional in doing what you're doing and hanging in there to the end."
The Village Voice was founded as an alternative weekly newspaper in 1955. It has had a number of previous owners, including New York magazine, Rupert Murdoch, Leonard Stern, and New Times Media. Read Barbey's full statement below.
Peter Barbey Statement This is a sad day for The Village Voice and for millions of readers. The Voice has been a key element of New York City journalism and is read around the world. As the first modern alternative newspaper, it literally defined a new genre of publishing. As the Voice evolved over the years, its writers, editors, reporters, reviewers, contributors, photographers, artists and staff were united by the idea that the they spoke for and fought hard for those that believed in a better New York City and a better world. The Voice has connected multiple generations to local and national news, music, art, theater, film, politics and activism, and showed us that it’s idealism could be a way of life.
In recent years, the Voice has been subject to the increasingly harsh economic realities facing those creating journalism and written media. Like many others in publishing, we were continually optimistic that relief was around the next corner. Where stability for our business is, we do not know yet. The only thing that is clear now is that we have not reached that destination.
The Village Voice was created to give speed to a cultural and social revolution, and its legacy and the voices that created that legacy are still relevant today. Perhaps more than ever. Its archives are an indispensable chronicle of history and social progress. Although the Voice will not continue publishing, we are dedicated to ensuring that its legacy will endure to inspire more generations of readers and writers to give even more speed to those same goals.
We have begun working to ensure that the enormous print archive of The Village Voice is made digitally accessible. I began my involvement with the Voice intending to ensure its future. While this is not the outcome I’d hoped for and worked towards, a fully digitized Voice archive will offer coming generations a chance to experience for themselves what is clearly one of this city’s and this country’s social and cultural treasures.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone who pulled together to attempt create a new future for The Village Voice. Their passion and perseverance have inspired me. I will always be humbled by the grit they’ve shown and the dedication they have displayed.