Pioneering New York City newspaper The Village Voice was just bought by Brian Calle, the Street Media executive who currently owns LA Weekly. Calle announced plans to relaunch The Village Voice in January 2021, with quarterly print editions expected.
The Village Voice had been around since 1955 until it closed in 2018. When it first launched, it became famous as the country’s first alternative newspaper, focusing on New York’s creative community, including the individuals, culture, events and controversial issues that typical newspapers wouldn’t cover. It’s also known for hosting celebrity staff such as writer Ezra Pound, cartoonist Lynda Barry and music critic Robert Christgau.
The previous owner was Peter D. Barbey, who bought it in 2015 in hopes of finding investors to finance it. Two years later, The Village Voice was unable to continue putting out print editions, and eventually stopped publishing new stories to focus on archiving their old stories on their website. When the paper closed, he cited the “economic realities(sic) facing those creating journalism and written media” as the reason for shutting down.
Calle plans to rehire former staff members. One of them, editor Bob Baker, has already been brought back on board as a senior editor and content creator.
When Calle bought LA Weekly three years ago, he controversially fired 9 of the 13 editorial staff members. A boycott and a lawsuit ensued, involving David Welch making the allegation that the other LA Weekly backers had mismanaged the newspaper.