The Village Voice Ceases Operations

Iconic New York City alt-weekly was founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer in 1955

Last Updated: August 31, 2018 @ 11:31 AM

Iconic New York City alt-weekly The Village Voice has ceased operations effective Friday.

Owner Peter Barbey shared a statement with TheWrap:

“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.”

Barbey went on: “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.”

Barbey added that the Voice’s archive will be available online:

“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.”

Gothamist first reported the news.

Founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer, the Voice served as a launching pad for a number of writers including writer Ezra Pound, cartoonist Lynda Barry, and art critics Robert Christgau, Andrew Sarris, and J. Hoberman. Other contributors included Allen Ginsberg, nightlife columnist Michael Musto, E.E. Cummings, Lester Bangs, Henry Miller and James Baldwin among many.

The Village Voice was known for its investigative pieces, in-depth arts coverage and championing of civil rights. It won three Pulitzer Prizes, the National Press Foundation Award and the George Polk Award.

The paper ceased publishing its print edition in September 2017 and featured of a photo of Bob Dylan on its cover.

As of the time of the publication of this article, the Voice’s Twitter account has continued to share stories of the day’s published work.

Steve Wishnia, a freelancer for The Village Voice, who primarily covered housing issues, spoke with TheWrap on Friday, saying he learned of the publication’s end from his editor. “This is a miserable thing for journalism in general, New York City, and me personally,” said Wishnia. “Last year was the first year I felt I’d finally recovered from the Great Recession — I had two articles in the Voice’s final print issue — but the publications I write and edit for have cut back to the point where I’ve lost 40 percent of my work this year.”

Musto, along with other Village Voice writers and staffers, tweeted about the publication’s demise on Friday:

Read Barbey’s full 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.

Jon Levine contributed to this report.