Michael Lacey frowns. He'd been ranting about how even though he'd come from a union household, and his brother, who helped build the World Trade Center, was the president of a midwestern boilermakers local, which was no "pussy union," he had no use for organized labor. This didn't mean he expected any trouble from the Voice union. What he hoped would happen, Lacey said with confounding plutocrat noblesse oblige, was that the Voice employees would realize a union wasn't necessary, "because we take good care of our people."
Word of bad morale at the Voice, however, brought Lacey up short. Although no slouch with the downsize scythe himself (mass-firing tales are legend in the New Times canon), Lacey shook his head at stories of layoffs. "You don't get rid of good people just to save money. They're too hard to find. You don't discourage them. You want a lively newsroom, some action. Sturm. Drang. That place seemed dead."
Speaking of dead. On the editorial side: Darren Reidy, Ed Park, Jorge Morales, Elizabeth Zimmer, and - gasp — Bob Christgau. On the art side: Minh Uong, LD Beghtol, Tina Zimmer.
Good people all, no doubt.
UPDATE: Christgau speaks, after the jump.
——— Forwarded Message
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
If this comes completely out of the blue, I apologize.
It is now official—Village Voice Media fired me today, "for
taste," which means (among other things) slightly sweeter
severance. This despite the support of new music editor Rob
Harvilla, who I like as a person and a writer. We both believed I
had won myself some kind of niche as gray eminence. So I was
surprised Tuesday when I was among the eight Voice employees
(five editorial, three art) who were instructed to bring their
union reps to a meeting with upper management today. But I
certainly wasn't shocked—my approach to music coverage has never
been much like that of the New Times papers,
Bless the union, my severance is substantial enough to give me
time to figure out what I'm doing next. In fact, having finished
all my freelance reviews yesterday, I don't have a single
assignment pending. So, since I have no intention of giving up
rock criticism, all reasonable offers entertained; my phone
number is in the book, as they used to say when there were books.
What I don't need is a vacation—the three of us just had a great
two and a half weeks, and Nina matriculated at BMCC yesterday.
No need to respond. Forward to whoever you will.