Billionaire Peter Barbey Pulls the Plug
Legendary alternative journalistic outlet The Village Voice officially closed its doors on August 31, 2018. The news and entertainment weekly’s closing comes less than three years after the publication was purchased by Pennsylvania-based apparel/textile industry magnate Peter Barbey.
Barbey bought the village voice through his private investment company in 2015 for an undisclosed sum. In 2017 he ceased print publication of the weekly after crushing the workers’ union through what appeared to be layoffs targeting unionized newsroom staff. Barbey reportedly resides in a $27 million Greenwich Village flat.
The New York Post reports:
The storied New York tabloid the Village Voice — already down to around two dozen employees — is now officially dead, its owner announced Friday.
Half of the staff will be fired, with the other half hanging on briefly to work on an online archive, owner Peter Barbey told them according to the Gothamist website. The publication has stopped publishing new material.
“I bought The Village Voice to save it,” Barbey told the staffers.
“This isn’t how I thought it was going to end up,” he said, blaming “basically, business realities.”
Co-founded in a Greenwich Village apartment in 1955 by Norman Mailer, the iconic paper was one of the first alt-news weeklies in the country.
It launched the careers of investigative powerhouses Wayne Barrett and Tom Robbins, rock critic Robert Christgau and music critic Nat Hentoff.
Its pages have held the work of Ezra Pound, James Baldwin, E.E. Cummings, Tom Stoppard, and Allen Ginsburg. Its cartoonists have included Lynda Barry and Jules Feiffer, who in 1981 won one of the paper’s three Pulitzer Prizes.
H/t Winfield Abbe