The Village Voice is ending its free weekly print edition, the company announced on Tuesday.
The free paper was distributed around New York City and is often handed to people as they enter the subway. It will maintain what it bills as its “iconic progressive brand” with a digital platform and new editorial initiatives as owner Peter Barbey looks to revitalize the company.
The Village Voice has been the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes, the National Press Foundation Award and the George Polk Award. The paper’s website refers to it as the “nation’s first alternative newsweekly,” which started in 1955.
“When The Village Voice was converted into a free weekly in an effort to boost circulation back in 1996, it was a time when Craigslist was in its infancy, Google and Facebook weren’t glimmers in the eyes of their founders, and alternative weeklies – and newspapers everywhere – were still packed with classified advertising,” Barbey said in a statement.
He continued: Clearly a lot has changed since then. That business has moved online – and so has the Voice’s audience, which expects us to do what we do not just once a week, but every day, across a range of media, from words and pictures to podcasts, video, and even other forms of publishing.”
Barbey said the decision will allow the brand to move forward “more freely” as it pursues avenues to make the Voice vital once again.