As they write articles touting the president’s policies they are being ushered out the door because the Village Voice can’t meet payroll.
UPDATE: Good Coverage at American Powerblog – HERE
Layoffs are hitting the editorial staff at The Village Voice today, and they’re hitting some of the most widely-read staff writers in the office. The Observer has heard from multiple sources familiar with the situation that the bad news is beginning to spread around the office, and that the following people are out at the Voice:
Camille Dodero (Staff Writer), Steven Thrasher (Staff Writer) and Victoria Bekiempis (Staff Writer), and we also heard Araceli Cruz was cut to part-time status. Cruz, who has been with the Voice since 2007, is a senior associate editor who works on both event listings and features across the paper.
Maybe they can go uptown and get a job at The NY Times?
Of Course Buzzfeed has a completely different take on this. This is a case of “mismanagement.” But then goes on to report that all of the alternative weekly papers under the flagship of The Voice are in deep, deep trouble. Not one of the editor’s across this nation know how to steward a profitable paper? If that’s the case, this is a petri dish of left-wing business leadership — it sucks. The left thrives during right-wing capitalist boons despite their ineptness. That’s the lesson to learn here.
The layoffs at the Voice weren’t the only ones: papers across the Village Voice Media company, which owns more or less every notable alternative weekly nowadays, experienced layoffs, I’ve learned, including those in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, and Broward-Palm Beach. The Voice itself is planning to move out of its iconic East Village office space in the near future, as I and other staff members found out last year. There have been many ends of an era for a paper that always prided itself at being on the vanguard, but this one seems permanent and final: “I can’t imagine how much leaner they can get,” said a friend of mine who was recently let go from the Dallas Observer.
At the Voice, people found out the hard way. They tried to log onto their accounts and couldn’t. This happened to blogger Victoria Bekiempis and to reporter Steven Thrasher, who still hadn’t spoken with his boss when I called him at 5:30 Friday evening; he learned the extent of the news through texts and tweets, he said. It was a harsh way to go, but fit what the Voice has become.
The Voice suffered from the same ailments that afflict print media organizations everywhere, but it proved less adept than most at adapting to the changing media. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that adapted to the Internet in the entirely wrong way, figuring out only the web’s seamiest edge. In the past year, the Village Voice media has been consumed by controversy, and been the target of a national campaign, around its ownership of Backpage.com, a site that basically digitizes the sex ads the Voice has always made money off of. While the back page print ads were always an accepted part of the paper’s identity, the online equivalent developed a more straightforward reputation as a seedy haven for child sex traffickers. It’s been considered a ticking time bomb for a while now, and lawmakers in New York and elsewhere seem bent on legislating it out of business.