Two top editors of the struggling alt-weekly The Village Voice resigned abruptly from their posts Thursday after being asked by management to make cuts to their editorial staff.
Will Bourne, who became the paper’s editor-in-chief just last November, and Jessica Lustig, whom he tapped to be his deputy editor in January, quit so as not to “preside over further layoffs.”
“We are both leaving because I was summoned to a meeting and asked to get rid of five people and we are on a short string already,” Bourne told the New York Times. “When I was brought in here, I was explicitly told that the bloodletting had come to an end. I have enormous respect for the staff here and the work they have been doing and I am not going to preside over further layoffs.”
According to reports, Christine Brennan, executive editor of Voice Media Group, which is based in Denver and owns 11 alternative newspapers (LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Dallas Observer and Miami New Times are among their titles), called Bourne and Lustig into a meeting and asked them to lay off five people from their 20-person staff. Bourne and Lustig resigned instead.
Their resignation comes a week after Bourne laid off the Voice’s art director, John Dixon.