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Village Voice Ends Free Weekly Print Edition

The Village Voice, New York City’s storied alternative weekly, announced on Tuesday that its free weekly print edition is discontinued.

The news comes from Peter Barbey, who purchased the Voice in 2015.

The paper was founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, and Norman Mailer, and is credited as being the country’s first alt weekly. Over the past 60 years the paper has served as a keystone in New York City life and culture. The paper started being distributed for free starting in 1996.

Over the years, the Village Voice has fostered the talents of writers including investigative reporters Jack Newfield and Wayne Barrett, and writers Nat Hentoff, Karen Durbin, Ken Auletta, James Wolcott, Hilton Als, and Colson Whitehead. Its notable critics over the years include music critics Robert Christgau, Gary Giddins, and Ellen Willis; film critics Andrew Sarris, J. Hoberman, and Amy Taubin; theater critics Jerry Talmer and Michael Feingold; and art critics Peter Schjeldahl and Jerry Saltz.

“For more than 60 years, the Village Voice brand has played an outsized role in American journalism, politics, and culture. 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,” Barbey said in an official release. “I expect it to continue to be that and much, much more.”

The move away from print signals a shift to put more emphasis on digital. The announcement cites “plans to maintain its iconic progressive brand with its digital platform and a variety of new editorial initiatives and a full slate of events that will include The Obie Awards and The Pride Awards.”

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