The Village Voice has — finally! — named a new Editor-in-Chief: New York Sun TV columnist, Columbia Journalism School faculty member, media writer and author and Huffington Post contributor David Blum.
Blum will take over at the paper on September 12. "I'm honored to lead an institution as vibrant and as essential to New York City life as the Voice," said Blum in a statement released by Village Voice Media. "I want New Yorkers to read the Voice, and to be moved, entertained, amused, confronted and compelled by what it has to say." Said Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey: "The Voice's readers and writers will find a great collaborator and a smart leader in David Blum... He is one of us."
Like a Spinal Tap drummer, the Village Voice editor's position has been rather perilous of late: the rocky top spot saw the departure of longtime editor Don Forst upon the takeover of the Village Voice by alt-weekly chain The New Times, followed by the installation of managing editor Doug Simmons as acting editor, who was fired in the wake of the Nick Sylvester fabricated cover story scandal, with the editorship temporarily assigned to Ward Harkavy. In June, it was announced that Washington City Paper editor Erik Wemple would be taking the position...until it was announced a scant two weeks later that he would not be.If his most recent New York Sun column is any indication, Blum will fit right in with the scrappy, authority-questioning afflict-the-comfortable ethos of the Village Voice:
"The truth is that we still gravitate most to those who, like Mr. Cronkite, look with arched skepticism at government institutions and military interventions. We don't want the bland leading the bland; we rightly reward reporters like CNN's Anderson Cooper and the top-rated anchor on television, NBC's Brian Williams, both of whom take activist roles by hammering away at waste, mismanagement, and abuse, just like Mr. Cronkite did in his day."
We wish Blum luck and longevity in his new position. Especially longevity.
Full release after the jump.
DAVID BLUM IS THE NEW EDITOR OF THE VILLAGE VOICE
Veteran New York magazine writer and editor David Blum has been named editor-in-chief of the Village Voice.
Blum, who began his career as a Wall Street Journal staff reporter covering urban affairs and went on to become an editor and writer at New York magazine, Esquire magazine, and The New York Times Magazine, will start on September 12, said Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey.
"I believe in the limitless possibilities of weeklies, and in the power of narrative journalism to change the way people think and feel," said Blum. "I'm honored to lead an institution as vibrant and as essential to New York City life as the Voice. I want New Yorkers to read the Voice, and to be moved, entertained, amused, confronted and compelled by what it has to say."
"The Voice's readers and writers will find a great collaborator and a smart leader in David Blum," said Lacey. "He is one of us."
After starting at the Journal in 1979, Blum moved to Esquire in 1983 as an associate editor, editing features in all areas and also creating the magazine's "Smart Money" section. From 1985 to 1992, he was a contributing editor at New York, writing numerous cover stories for the magazine including a fly-on-the-wall account of the Signature Theatre Company's remarkable struggle to produce Edward Albee and last year's penetrating analysis of the anchor dilemmas that afflicted national television executives following the death of Peter Jennings.
Blum was a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine from 1995 to 2000, penning cover stories and features, and served as deputy editor at the magazine's Part II's in 1999 and 2000. He has also written features for Vanity Fair and the New Republic, and since 2002 has been an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he teaches the magazine writing workshop and works with students to produce nationally syndicated news stories for the Columbia News Service. For the last four years, he has also served as the television critic for the New York Sun.
Blum is the author of two books, 1992's Flash in the Pan: The Life and Death of an American Restaurant, which chronicled the birth and demise of a downtown New York City eatery and was named a "notable book" by the New York Times. In 2002 he wrote Tick...Tick...Tick...: The Long Life and Turbulent Times of 60 Minutes, a history of the legendary TV news program.
"If 60 Minutes is about good storytelling, then it has found its Scheherazade in David Blum," wrote the New Yorker's Ken Auletta. "In gripping fashion, readers are introduced to characters worthy of a novel....Tick...Tick...Tick... is a narrative as fascinating as the best 60 Minutes stories."
Born in Queens, Blum graduated from the University of Chicago in 1977 with a degree in English literature. He now lives in Manhattan with his wife, Terri Minsky, a television writer-producer, and their two children, Sam, age 12, and Annie, age 11.