The Village Voice Is Ending Its Weekly Print Edition

From The Vulture:

After more than 60 years, the Village Voice is shutting down its weekly print edition. Founded in 1955 and converted into a free weekly in 1996, the Voice built its name as one of the country’s first alt-weeklies by covering and critiquing New York politics, culture, and more with its distinctive downtown sensibility. The progressive alt-weekly plans to continue on in digital form, according to an announcement from Peter Barbey, who purchased it in October 2015 amid financial struggles, and will also continue to sponsor events like the Obie Awards and Pride Awards. “[The Voice] has been a beacon for progress and a literal voice for thousands of people whose identities, opinions, and ideas might otherwise have been unheard. I expect it to continue to be that and much, much more,” Barbey said. “The business has moved online — and so has the Voice’s audience, which expects to do what we do not just once a week, but every day.”

. . . .

The no-longer-weekly alt-weekly has a hallowed history of defining and exemplifying New York counterculture, having been founded by Norman Mailer, Ed Fancher, Dan Wolf, and John Wilcock. It launched the careers of numerous authors and journalists.

Link to the rest at The Vulture

A question popped into PG’s mind as he read this item. Because there was not much else popping in his mind, he noticed this question.

Is there any traditional print publication that has transitioned to a pure digital form (and binned the print side) that has prospered?

By prospering, PG doesn’t mean surviving or claiming a zillion website visits. Rather, he means the publication demonstrates at least some of the traditional outward manifestations of prosperity – hiring more people on a consistent basis without laying them off later, moving to larger offices, etc.

Does any such transitioned publication make more money than it did before the digital deluge?

According to Statista, The New York Times had 5,363 employees in 2012 and 3,710 employees in 2016.

In June of this year, hundreds of staff members of the New York Times staged a walkout to protest more firings. The laid-off copy editors wrote a letter:

“We only ask that you not treat us like a diseased population that must be rounded up en masse, inspected and expelled,” they wrote. “After all, we are, as one senior reporter put it, the immune system of this newspaper, the group that protects the institution from profoundly embarrassing errors, not to mention potentially actionable ones.”

4 thoughts on “The Village Voice Is Ending Its Weekly Print Edition”

  1. “… converted into a free weekly in 1996 …”

    So it’s been running off of ads and donations (if they take donations) all this time.

    One advantage they had as a weekly was events had time to play out before they reported it (rather than the knee-jerk junk we see on all the ‘instant’ news outlets that later refuse to admit they jumped the gun with too little or the wrong facts.

    One disadvantage was that same delay meant they were ‘old news’ before they spun up the printers.

    Only time will tell whether this is a positive move for them – or just another step down and soon out.

  2. Is there any traditional print publication that has transitioned to a pure digital form (and binned the print side) that has prospered?

    Expanding on that…

    Is there any pure and prosperous digital outlet that had any kind of existence prior to 1990?

  3. I know The Sporting News, a far older weekly than the Voice, went all digital a few years ago but I have no idea how they’re doing financially.

    • I was going to say the same thing. I can’t imagine its doing better, however.

      SI is doing well, financially, and their subscription numbers are WAY down compared to 20 years ago, but they do still have a magazine.

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