The Village Voice is not for sale. But somebody needs to save it, and that means somebody needs to find a way to buy it.
- Full circle: 'Lowlifes,' drifters and resettled New Yorkers on the outskirts of God's country
- N.Y.U president hugs Scott Stringer for his OK on an expansion plan, but faculty, and some neighbors, are unmoved
- New York indie and immigrant papers get their own big awards night
It needs to be saved from its disastrous involvement in the adult-services advertising business. Perhaps more importantly, it needs to be saved from the "alternative press" culture at its Phoenix-based parent company, a culture that in a vacuum is noble and out in the world is broadly successful and even journalistically sound, but which doesn't work for the city or for the Voice.
The Voice has always been a problem child for its owner, Village Voice Media, which acquired the paper and several others it owned and operated back in 2005. It's the marquee title in the company's stable of newspapers—the buyers, New Times Media, even changed their name to emphasize the Voice brand.
It's often said, carelessly I think, that the Voice is the grandfather paper of the "alternative newsweekly" tradition in American journalism. In fact, the purposes and character of the Voice have always been subtly different from the purposes and characters of "alt" papers like the Twin Cities' City Pages, Chicago's Chicago Reader, the City Papers of Washington and Baltimore, and the New Times papers of Phoenix and Miami. (To a greater or lesser degree, these have all also been subtly different from each other; but our topic here is New York.) It's a subtlety that makes a difference, and that has been the source of much of the internal tension at the paper, at which tumult has been a rule since its founding, but which has become a particularly nasty place to be these last seven years.