Sunday, June 16, 2024

Wayne Barrett, Tom Robbins Leave Village Voice (It’s Still Being Published, Who Knew?)


Wayne Barrett has been let go from the Village Voice. He’s been writing his weekly column, Runnin’ Scared, since 1978. He wrote pieces for the weekly newspaper for five years before that. Now he’s been axed “due to budget cuts.”

Tom Robbins, who’s been there almost as long, is leaving, too. There’s some dispute about whether he’s left in protest of Barrett’s dismissal or, as the Voice’s editor is now saying, he wanted to be with his friend. (What? Hello?)

Anyway, I’m surprised the Village Voice is still being published. Who knew? It hasn’t mattered in years. Like so many things from New York’s vital past, the Voice is as dead as CBGB, the Bottom Line, and Lundy’s. You’re more likely to hail a Checker Cab than read the Voice for anything, really.

The current owners, whoever they are, have long since abandoned the Voice’s journalistic history. The old guys are all gone now, including Nat Hentoff, who meant so much to music fans especially.

Barrett, who’s 65, will go on to the Nation Institute and publishing more books. Robbins will likely do something similar.

I took a look at the Voice website today. Barrett’s farewell column has a special link on the front page. But over at the Runnin’ Scared column, which is now a blog, he’s about 10th down on the list. Someone named Jen Doll (what a name!) is busy writing about Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s weight loss, and someone else wrote about dead birds. I guess this is part of the new meaningless blog filling that goes on everywhere 24/7 now, but really how sad…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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