Alex Constantine - May 5, 2009
" ... The problem, our tipster says, is that editor-in-chief Tony Ortega has most of his hiring decisions dictated to him by his New Times bosses ... "
By ian spiegelman
Mar 29 2008
The owners of wilting alt weekly The Village Voice continue to condemn their staff to the torture of a thousand cuts. Last week, the Voice's overlords at cost-cutting conglomerate The New Times laid off dance critic Deborah Jowitt after she'd served forty years at the paper. Now, an insider tells us that writer Chris Thompson—who relocated his family from San Francisco to take the job—has been let go. The problem, our tipster says, is that Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega has most of his hiring decisions dictated to him by his New Times bosses "and then he sulks because he doesn't really like them, and then decides they aren't 'working out.'"
"[T]he Voice is now FIFTH in terms of ad sales amongst the entire chain," the insider tells us. "We used to be first, and now we are FIFTH. Kansas City['s The Pitch] does better than the Voice in ad sales. The [New Times] has proven over and over and over that when they go into anything other than secondary markets, they fail because they apply their boneheaded editorial strategy to the big papers, ignoring what actually worked for those cities. That's why San Francisco was their biggest money loser, because they didn't seem to get that no one wanted their cookie cutter philosophy in such an individualist town."