The Village Voice, a once-iconic New York newspaper whose tumult in the last several years has overshadowed its journalism, has named a new top editor as it looks to regain its luster.
On Tuesday, the alternative weekly will announce that it has appointed Stephen Mooallem — the executive editor of the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar and the former editor in chief of Interview magazine — as editor in chief. The move represents another leadership change under Peter D. Barbey, who announced that he had bought The Voice last year.
“Stephen has the experience and perspective required to connect with our audience and engage a new generation of readers,” Mr. Barbey, whose family has been involved in publishing for generations, said in a statement. “Stephen will be instrumental in guiding The Village Voice into a new phase.”
Mr. Mooallem’s appointment comes as The Voice struggles to maintain its cultural relevance. Once considered one of the pre-eminent alternative weeklies in the country, the newspaper, like so many others in the digital age, has faced significant financial pressure, which has led to ownership turnover and a decade of on-and-off internal turmoil.
Last year, Mr. Barbey, through his investment company Black Walnut Holdings, bought The Village Voice from Voice Media Group for undisclosed financial terms, saying he aimed to invest in the paper to make it “the best it can be.” A significant revamp is scheduled for next year.
Mr. Mooallem, 41, will be stepping into his leadership role at a pivotal time for The Voice. In January, Mr. Barbey replaced Tom Finkel, then the editor in chief, with Will Bourne, who had edited The Village Voice for a short period in 2013. But Mr. Bourne’s reprise was short-lived. In August, he was dismissed and replaced on an interim basis by Joe Levy, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.
Mr. Mooallem will start in his new role on Dec. 29. Mr. Levy will stay on to help with the transition.
Since it was founded in 1955 by Norman Mailer, Dan Wolf and Edwin Fancher, The Voice has embodied a unique place in New York’s alternative cultural milieu. But the paper, which has won three Pulitzer Prizes, has had its circulation drop and its influence wane.
Among Mr. Mooallem’s responsibilities will be overseeing the newspaper’s editorial relaunch, which will include a redesign for the print product and a new website.
In an interview, Mr. Mooallem said he wanted to improve the paper’s digital side, re-establish its cultural coverage and investigative reporting, and embrace the paper’s inherent “New Yorkiness.” He will also help introduce Voice, a new cross-platform product that he said he saw as an opportunity to experiment with visual journalism.
Mr. Mooallem, who worked at The Voice in the late 1990s after graduating from Brown University, said there was a certain romanticism about The Voice of the past. But his goal, he said, is not to dwell on the paper’s bygone glories but to bring it into the present.
“We’re looking to make something new from it,” Mr. Mooallem said about The Voice. “I think it’s really kind of embracing what it can be right now.”Continue reading the main story