BUSINESS
08/31/2018 02:02 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2018

The Village Voice Has Shut Down And People Are Sharing Their Best Memories Of The Paper

The famous newspaper had been a New York City fixture since 1955.

The Village Voice, the iconic New York newspaper that became online-only last year, has shut down.

“Today is kind of a sucky day,” said owner Pete Barbey in a phone call, according to audio obtained by Gothamist.

“Due to, basically, business realities, we’re going to stop publishing Village Voice new material. 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,” Barbey reportedly said, referring to efforts to archive the Voice’s content.  

The former headquarters of The Village Voice in the East Village neighborhood of New York City, seen on Aug. 22, 2017.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
The former headquarters of The Village Voice in the East Village neighborhood of New York City, seen on Aug. 22, 2017.

Barbey bought the famous citycentric weekly, co-founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer in 1955, from Voice Media Group in 2015 after it spent years going through assorted owners, mergers and separations. Barbey also noted on the call that he bought the publication to save it.

“This isn’t exactly how I though it was going to end up. I’m still trying to save The Village Voice,” he said, before telling his staff that they had “amazing grit” and remained “professional” through it all. 

Distribution boxes like this one, pictured in 2017, used to dot New York City.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Distribution boxes like this one, pictured in 2017, used to dot New York City.
Cindy Ord via Getty Images

Just one year ago, the alt-weekly ceased print operations and moved solely to digital. That news rattled the newsroom, with film editor Alan Scherstuhl telling Esquire at the time, “I think everybody was stunned.”

“You know how you always expect this will be the last month things keep going? Everybody is kind of surprised, but also like, ‘I can’t believe we got away with it this long,’” he said. 

A statement from Barbey confirmed that the paper was indeed shuttering and recalled its illustrious history that “defined a new genre of publishing” and how it was “subject to the increasingly harsh economic realities facing those creating journalism and written media.”

“The Village Voice was created to give speed to a cultural and social revolution, and its legacy and the voices that created that legacy are still relevant today. Perhaps more than ever,” the statement said.

Barbey continued:

Its archives are an indispensable chronicle of history and social progress. Although the Voice will not continue publishing, we are dedicated to ensuring that its legacy will endure to inspire more generations of readers and writers to give even more speed to those same goals.

News of the Voice’s last remnants folding has sent shockwaves through Twitter. One editor of the publication shared a succinct message, calling the Voice’s work “a good run.” 

The publication’s closure particularly struck a chord with journalists who got their start in that newsroom and those who contributed to the publication in its six-decade life:

RIP, The Village Voice.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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