Legendary columnist Michael Musto said Monday that the cuts that ended his career at the Village Voice have left the atmosphere at the paper "dour." Food critic Tejal Rao later announced that she is resigning, leaving the newspaper without a food critic.
Musto, the most high-profile writer left at the paper, was laid off on Friday, along with Robert Sietsema and Michael Feingold, in the latest round of layoffs. The announcement shocked and saddened readers, who lamented the news on Twitter.
"It's nice to be welcome somewhere," Musto joked on HuffPost Live Monday. "But I have to say, this outpouring is amazing. I feel like I'm reading my own obituary but I'm still alive. I feel like a Mark Twain character who walked in on his own funeral, I went from tears of horror to absolutely being buoyed by the joy of everyone I've ever written about or who has ever read my column coming out to support me."
Musto told HuffPost Live hosts Alicia Menendez and Marc Lamont Hill that he wasn't "that shocked" by the news given what he said was the direction that the newspaper seemed to be taking, but did not exactly expect to be laid off.
The cuts have left staffers "devastated," according to Gawker. On Monday, Musto described the mood at the paper as "a little dour," though he added that he holds "no ill will" towards the Village Voice.
Meanwhile, Rao also announced Monday that she will be exiting the paper. "I've resigned from my post at the Voice," she tweeted. "Thanks to the writers and editors who made working here a dream come true." She was the paper's only food critic after Sietsema was fired Friday. He responded to the news writing, "Our hats are off to you @tejalrao."
For his part, Musto said that he could not yet say where he will go next, but said "the second this was announced, people started knocking my door down. I'm very optimistic."
The news came a week after a little more than a week after editors Will Bourne and Jessica Lustig chose to resign, rather than oversee a round of layoffs. They had reportedly been instructed to cut five people from a staff of 20.