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ink-stained wretches

Michael Musto and More Out at the Village Voice

Michael Musto==
DIFFA's DINING BY DESIGN New York Gala Dinner Honoring ALFREDO PAREDES==
Pier 94, NYC==
March 26, 2012==
© Patrick McMullan==
Photo - PATRICK McMULLAN/PatrickMcMullan.com==
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The planned layoffs at the Village Voice, which caused its brand-new editor-in-chief and deputy to quit in protest, went down this morning regardless, Gawker reports, and included legendary gossip columnist Michael Musto and veteran theater critic Michael Feingold, both of whom had already filed forthcoming pieces for the paper. Food critic Robert Sietsema was also let go. "So many people have come out to offer their love (and opportunities)," Musto told Hamilton Nolan. "My brand will be feistier than ever." We don't doubt it. The Voice, on the other hand ...

The "Rest in Peace" cries for the once-venerable alt-weekly are louder than ever today, with the axing of the only longtime writers — and thus, relatively large payroll responsibilities — left. (Disclosure: I used to work there.) The business side will also see "a big chunk" cut, according to Gawker.

One former Voice editor, who was laid off in a previous round of "structural and staffing changes" (in the euphemism of management) but visited recently, told Daily Intelligencer that the iconic office itself, which the paper is said to be leaving, is a sad site. "There's no longer a receptionist when you get off the elevator, and all the windows and doors are covered up and locked," the person said. "So you have to use a phone to call someone to let you in." When you select "editorial," the voice on the recording is that of another editor who has since been fired.

Update: "The net effect of these changes will be to slightly reduce the number of editorial employees at the publication — by less than one full-time position — and better align the Voice with the long-term business and editorial goals of the company," Village Media Group said in a statement. "This restructuring will allow the Voice to continue offering superior content and products to its New York audience – specifically film, music, restaurant, and breaking news easily accessible across both print and digital platforms – while also ensuring the sustainability of the publication."

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Photo: Patrick McMullan