End of an Era: Village Voice Will No Longer Be in Print

Village Voice Cover Michael Moore - Screenshot - H 2017

The alt-weekly changed ownership in 2015.

Peter Barbey, who purchased The Village Voice in 2015, has decided to no longer produce a print edition of the alt-weekly. The publication, which was once considered an important voice and platform, has long been distributed for free around New York City. 

"For more than 60 years, The Village Voice brand has played an outsized role in American journalism, politics, and culture," Barbey said Tuesday in a prepared statement. "It has been a beacon for progress and a literal voice for thousands of people whose identities, opinions, and ideas might otherwise have been unheard. I expect it to continue to be that and much, much more.”

The Village Voice, like most historically print-focused publications, has struggled with the shift to less-remunerative digital advertising. The paper was once reliant largely on classified advertising.

"That business has moved online — and so has the Voice’s audience, which expects us to do what we do not just once a week, but every day, across a range of media, from words and pictures to podcasts, video, and even other forms of print publishing," Barbey said.

The Village Voice's web traffic fluctuates widely on a month-to-month basis, but recorded 1,318,000 multi-platform unique U.S. visitors for the month of July, according to comScore data provided to The Hollywood Reporter.

The company's announcement came as a shock and a disappointment to the larger media industry on Twitter. But Barbey said it shouldn't. "The most powerful thing about the Voice wasn’t that it was printed on newsprint or that it came out every week," he said. "It was that The Village Voice was alive, and that it changed in step with and reflected the times and the ever-evolving world around it. I want The Village Voice brand to represent that for a new generation of people — and for generations to come.”

Barbey purchased the paper from Voice Media Group in October 2015. The publication, which has launched the careers of many prominent writers and journalists, has recently run through a succession of top editors.