Backpage.com may be gone, but sex ads are here to stay at the alt weeklies formerly owned by Village Voice Media. Over the weekend, Village Voice Media announced it had reshuffled and separated its 13 newspapers from Backpage.com, the classifieds website with the controversial “adult” advertising section. Backpage may not be part of the newly-formed newspaper company, Voice Media Group, but that doesn’t mean its doing away with the highly profitable print sex ads.
“Voice Media Group will continue to support the current adult classifieds in Village Voice,” a spokesperson for Voice Media Group told the Observer this afternoon.
The Village Voice’s EIC Tony Ortega announced in a blog post today that he is leaving the troubled alt-weekly to “pursue a book proposal about Scientology in its time of crisis.” Mr. Ortega attributed his departure to a desire to turn his “465 blog posts about Scientology” into a book that prompted him to make the jump, but sources with knowledge of the situation tell The Observer Mr. Ortega’s exit from the Voice was not his decision.
Layoffs are hitting the editorial staff at The Village Voice today, and they’re hitting some of the most widely-read staff writers in the office. The Observer has heard from multiple sources familiar with the situation that the bad news is beginning to spread around the office, and that the following people are out at the Voice:
Following James Dolan-owned Rainbow Media’s purchase of Gothamist, Foster Kamer poked fun at Mr. Dolan on The Voice‘s Runnin’ Scared.
Three days later Independent Film Center, also a Rainbow Media property, pulled all of its advertising, worth some $20,000, from the paper, wrote Mr. Kamer.
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