Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The `Village Voice' Alternative Media Monopoly's Hidden History--Part 14

(Most of the following article originally appeared in the October 9, 1996 issue of Downtown/Aquarian Weekly. See below for parts 1-13.)

Although former Voice editor/publisher Schneiderman apparently did not find it objectionable to visit Murdoch in his New York Post office, to chat with the Australian right-winger about the Voice and about the Post’s battle with the News, Schneiderman apparently didn’t like to chat with Voice writers during the 1980s. As the New York Times (6/28/85) noted in 1985, “Mr. Schneiderman left the New York Times, where he was assistant editor…to become editor-in-chief of the Voice, but only after his appointment was delayed several months at the insistence of the Voice’s staff” and “Mr. Schneiderman adopted a policy of not socializing with anyone, which he still largely observes…” Schneiderman was willing, however, to socialize with other U.S. Establishment figures, apparently, as a member of the elite Council on Foreign Relations group during the 1980s.

In the Murdoch-Schneiderman Era, the Voice’s paid circulation started to drop, its appeal to people under 25 started to decline, and only 25 percent of its readers were actually residents of Manhattan—despite its large number of Manhattan resident-oriented classified ads. But because its classified ad publishing business had expanded greatly during the Murdoch-Schneiderman Era [before being ultimately hurt by the internet competition of Craig’s list in the 21st-century], its profitability increased to $5 million per year [in 1980s money] in pre-tax profits, despite the early 1980s decline in circulation. During this same period, the Voice axed its then-media criticism columnist, Alexander Cockburn. In The Nation (9/7/85), Cockburn later asserted that “The Voice is…spawned with Democratic reform politics and self-regard” and “Rolling Stone and the Village Voice may be able to coin revenues for their repugnant proprietors but the future is not with them.”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 10/9/96)

Next: The Village Voice Alternative Media Monopoly’s Hidden History—Part 15