Breaking: The Village Voice Officially Ends Its Printed Edition

Village Voice's downtown offices (photo: Mathew Ingram CC 2.0)
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Village Voice's downtown offices (photo: Mathew Ingram CC 2.0)
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Village Voice’s downtown offices (photo: Mathew Ingram CC 2.0)

New York’s legendary Village Voice has just delivered its last printed edition.

An iconic New York legend is finally saying goodbye.  To killing trees, that is.

According to word from the mag, the Village Voice is now terminating its print edition forever.  Everything is all digital from this point on.

The shift was initiated by Peter Barbey, who purchased the alt-weekly in 2015.  That set in wheels the transition away from print, and towards a beefed-up online presence.

The move reflects a harsh reality for the paper, which once thrived by giving out its pulp weekly for free.  Indeed, since 1955, the paper has been integrated into New York life, and a mainstay across its artistic culture. That includes music, with endless reviews, listings, and emerging acts included in the Village Voice’s pages.

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But that weekly, paper-based approach has become a sorely dated model.  As downtowners once flipped through the pages for listings and saucy opinions, advertisers footed the bill.  Now, those advertisers have shifted their dollars elsewhere, leaving the Village Voice an unsustainable entity.

Well, at least in physical form.  Now, the action is online, where the Voice appears to be struggling.  According to SimilarWeb, traffic to the Voice is between 1-2 million monthly.  That’s a lot of views, but considered small for a once-venerable bulwark of New York culture.

Perhaps all part of the challenge for Barbey.  “For more than 60 years, the Village Voice brand has played an outsized role in American journalism, politics, and culture,” Barbey offered in a 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.”