Famed Village Voice newspaper set to shut down

The Village Voice, which ended its print edition last year, is shutting down its remaining digital operations and laying off remaining staff

The Village Voice, the famed alternative New York weekly that grew out of the Greenwich Village cultural scene, was set to shut down its remaining editorial operations, according to reports Friday.

A voice mail from owner Peter Barbey to staff obtained by news outlets including the Columbia Journalism Review and the Gothamist said half the staff was being laid off and those remaining would handle archival operations.

"Due to, basically, business realities, we're going to stop publishing Village Voice new material," Barbey was quoted as saying.

"About half the staff, it'll be last day today. About half the staff staying on to wind things down and to work on the archive project."

There was no official word from the newspaper but Voice staffers appeared to confirm the shutdown in comments posted on Twitter.

"And pour one out for the Village Voice. It was a good run," tweeted Voice news editor Neil deMause.

Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl meanwhile tweeted, "The Village Voice is the only place I've ever wanted to work, thanks to these names and so many more. It's been an honor every week, even the dark ones."

In September 2017, the Voice delivered its last print edition while continuing to publish online, with a staff reduced to an estimated 15 to 20 people.

Founded in 1955 by writer Norman Mailer, as well as Dan Wolf and Ed Fancher, the weekly focused on culture and politics quickly became an institution.

Born of the cultural bustle of the Greenwich Village neighborhood, the Voice was a place where ideas and debate flourished.

Its contributing writers included Ezra Pound, Henry Miller, Katherine Anne Porter, James Baldwin, E.E. Cummings and Nat Hentoff.

The paper also devoted resources to investigative journalism and won three Pulitzer prizes including one for a report on the murder of a Playboy Playmate, and one for coverage of AIDS in Africa.