Monday, June 16, 2008

The `Village Voice' Alternative Media Monopoly's Hidden History--Part 13

(Most of the following article originally appeared in the October 9, 1996 issue of Downtown/Aquarian Weekly. See below for parts 1-12.)

David Schneiderman, a former editor and top executive at the Village Voice alternative media conglomerate for many years before it merged with Michael Lacey’s New Times alternative media monopoly a few years ago, had secured an MA from Maryland’s Johns Hopkins University in 1970—not from a school of journalism, but from its “School of Advanced International Studies.” He had been quickly pushed into a deputy editor position at the New York Times, prior to being brought Downtown by Murdoch to manage Murdoch’s stable of Voice writers in the late 1970s.

Before assuming his role as Murdoch’s Voice editor in January 1979, “Schneiderman sat in an office for six months,…mapping his strategy until Partridge’s contract was up,” according to Barefaced Cheek. The same book also revealed in 1983 that Murdoch was “obviously happier” with Schneiderman as Voice editor and that “Murdoch…appears to enjoy his…meetings with Schneiderman” and “occasionally” Schneiderman was “on the receiving end of criticism for individual stories, mainly about Murdoch.” Murdoch by William Shawcross also noted that “Schneiderman received the occasional irate telephone call” from Murdoch during the early 1980s.

Barefaced Cheek also revealed that after the Voice printed in 1981 “a thinly-veiled suggestion that the Post was getting a tax reduction on its South Street office building because of its support for Edward Koch, the [then-New York City] mayor,…Murdoch’s senior henchmen phoned Schneiderman to tell him how badly Murdoch viewed it…” The same book also noted in 1983 that “Murdoch clearly trusts” former Voice publisher/president Schneiderman “as much as he trusts anyone working for a paper that does not relate to anything he knows about” and “when David Schneiderman went for one of his meetings about the Village Voice, he found Murdoch bubbling with enthusiasm for the impending battles with the News, asking advice on what moves he should make.”

Coincidentally, one of the first editorial decisions which former Murdoch Magazines editor Karen Durbin made, after Schneiderman named her as Voice editor in 1994 [before she was eventually replaced by a former editor of New York Newsday], was to publish an article that was critical of the New York Daily News owner with whom New York Post owner Murdoch then did “battle with.”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 10/9/96)

Next: The Village Voice Alternative Media Monopoly’s Hidden History—Part 14