A memo by Village Voice Media executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin published in the wake of a blog about layoffs at Westword mentions staff reductions across the chain of fifteen alternative weeklies across the country. These moves have been well documented, often by the papers themselves.
"The Cuts Keep Coming," a Bob Norman blog published by the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, notes layoffs to that paper's managing editor and music editor, as well as the art director, whose position was merged with that of his counterpart at the nearby Miami New Times. Norman then catalogs other examples of VVM downsizing, including three goodbyes at the Village Voice, the New York-based paper that gives the chain its name. Among the trio leaving that publication are staff writer Chloe Hibbard plus two Voice institutions: columnist Nat Hentoff, who celebrated a half-century at the paper last year, and fashion scribe Lynn Yaeger, who was a relative newcomer, having only put in about thirty years.
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At the OC Weekly, in Orange County, California, three staffers got layoff notices, while a fourth was reduced from fulltime to part-time status. Pitch, in Kansas City, suffered two layoffs; some other positions were restructured. Two staffers at Minneapolis City Pages wound up with pink slips following the holidays: Happy new year. And the list goes on.
Supposedly misery loves company, but I don't buy that. Not today, anyhow. -- Michael Roberts