Wemple To Village Voice


(Wemple photo credit: Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times)

It was announced late yesterday that Washington City Paper editor (and dependable Post basher) Erik Wemple, 41, (or as Gawker dubbed him, “whawho?”), accepted the position of editor in chief at the Village Voice in New York City. He will begin in July.

The move is a relatively horizontal one for Wemple. The Village Voice shares the City Paper’s love of muckracking and tackling sacred cows and both are alternative papers with a keen eye for local arts and culture. Similarly, both have had their better days. Readership for the Washington City paper has tapered off in recent years and fewer stores are allowing their papers to be displayed. This is part of the reason why they’ve been forced to hawk their papers at the Metro stations lately. For its part, The Village Voice, once a must-read within New York City, has also seen it’s stature diminish. They’ve gone through four editors in seven months, endured a plagiarism scandal and seen 17 people leave the paper since the the Voice merged with New Times Media in October.

Some questions we’ll be asking about this move:

  • Who will replace Wemple? Managing Editor Andrew Beaujon?

  • Does this mean the Post will get a free ride from the City Paper from now on?

  • How quickly will Wemple adapt to New York life? (Although he is a native of Schenectady, his entire journalism career has been in Washington and he even applied for the job from here. Said Wemple: “It’s a huge place I know very little about”).

  • If Wemple is leaving a paper as shaky as the City Paper for one as shaky as the Village Voice, does that mean the City Paper is in worse shape than previously thought?