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The Village Voice Shuts Down

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Plastic newspaper racks for The Village Voice in New York City.

The groundbreaking alternative paper's announcement comes one year after it ceased publishing in print.

The publisher of The Village Voice says the venerable alternative weekly will cease publication.

Friday’s announcement by Voice owner Peter Barbey comes three years after Barbey bought the paper and one year after it ceased publishing in print.

Barbey called Friday “a sad day for The Village Voice and millions of readers.” He said the paper has been subject to “the increasingly harsh economic realities” facing those creating journalism.

He said staff members have been working to ensure that the print archive of the Voice is made digitally accessible.

According to Gothamist, half of the staff -- around 15 to 20 people -- will remain on to wind down operations and work on digital archiving, while the rest of the staff will be let go Friday. 

"I bought The Village Voice to save it; this isn't exactly how I thought it was going to end up. I'm still trying to save The Village Voice," Barbey told the staff, according to audio obtained by Gothamist.

He continued, explaining there have been discussions about selling the Voice for some time. 

"I've been having conversations with other entities for months now," Barbey said in the Friday meeting, according to Gothamist. "This is something we have to do—for some of them this is something we'd have to do before they could talk to us any further."

The Village Voice was the country’s first alternative newsweekly, founded in 1955 by a group that included writer Norman Mailer.

It has received three Pulitzer Prizes and many other awards over the years. 

In a statement to press, Barbey said, "The Voice has been a key element of New York City journalism and is read around the world. As the first modern alternative newspaper, it literally defined a new genre of publishing… The Voice has connected multiple generations to local and national news, music, art, theater, film, politics and activism, and showed us that its idealism could be a way of life."

He also addressed the financial issues facing the publication: "In recent years, the Voice has been subject to the increasingly harsh economic realities facing those creating journalism and written media. Like many others in publishing, we were continually optimistic that relief was around the next corner. Where stability for our business is, we do not know yet. The only thing that is clear now is that we have not reached that destination."

Barney concluded with gratitude for all those involved in working to create "a new future for The Village Voice." He said, Their passion and perseverance have inspired me. I will always be humbled by the grit they’ve shown and the dedication they have displayed."