New York City’s iconic Village Voice is being resurrected as a digital website two years after it ceased operations. It was bought by Street Media, which also owns LA Weekly and Irvine Weekly.
The digital iteration of the Voice will resume operations in January 2021. A quarterly print edition is planned and a release from the new owners suggests it could increase its frequency over time.
CEO and publisher Brian Calle said in a statement Tuesday, “The Village Voice represents one of the most iconic papers in our nation and the very best of local media. For more than six decades, it was the heart of New York City and the voice of the community it served. We are proud to be able to revive both the digital and print editions of this paper.”
As numerous people pointed out after the Tuesday announcement, one of Street Media’s first acts after acquiring LA Weekly in 2017 was a staff purge. The layoffs at the time were so devastating, then-editor Mara Shalhoup likened it to the Red Wedding on “Game of Thrones.” Other observers criticized the output of LA Weekly since its acquisition and declared the Village Voice’s relaunch would, under Calle’s leadership, be “a complete desecration of everything the paper once stood for.” Journalists expressed hesitant curiosity about what the renewed publication will look like.
The alt-weekly ceased its operations in 2018. Owner Peter Barbey said at the time, “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.”
Founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer, the Voice served as a launching pad for a number of journalists, 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.