Editor David Blum has left the Village Voice, the staff has just been informed. A meeting took place at 5:15 p.m. today at which staff were told that Blum was "no longer the editor of the paper" because he'd "made comments that were unacceptable," presumably, staff assumed, at the story meeting on Wednesday when the subject of race came up. According to one staffer present at that story meeting, nothing "outrageous" was said. According to another staffer, Blum was called on his heavily white hiring; Blum said he made no apology about being a "white male Jew from the Upper West Side," and was sorry he couldn't reach "Joe Jones from Flatbush."

After this evening's meeting, the staff was told to go on and "get back to work." Blum took over as editor six months ago; he had just finally hired a managing editor for the paper.

From what we hear, this staff meeting oddness wasn't an incident for which Blum would have been removed; instead, it's regarded as a last straw, with management having a number of complaints, including the way the paper was perceived (which is to say, badly).


The scoreboard now stands: After Don Forst resigned in December, 2005, Doug Simmons took over as editor. He was fired in March, and Ward Harkavy took over. Then Erik Wemple was hired in June, and then unhired himself two weeks later. Blum came aboard in September.

We hear (as do others) that Bill Jensen, of crazy Pazz and Jop essay fame, was the editor who conducted today's meeting, and that he will also serve as the interim editor.