Hoberman Is Out at Village Voice, and Curtain Drops on an Era

030408hobermanStupid, stupid, stupid Village Voice. David Carr in the NYT's Media Decoder:

On Wednesday, two long-running trends in journalism came together in a single layoff: Jim Hoberman, a senior film critic at the Village Voice since 1988, was let go, yet another instance of the The Voice taking aim at a veteran — and presumably well paid — employee. He joins a list of longtime Voice writers who have been laid off.

Mr. Hoberman’s departure is yet another instance of a critic leaving the ranks of full-time movie criticism, a trend that has been like the unfolding of a large, slow-moving disaster movie.

For many years, The Voice had a cultural reach beyond New York, setting an agenda in music, film and arts criticism. But like many weeklies — and newspapers in general — The Voice came under significant financial pressure in the last decade as the print business faltered in the competition with the Web over advertising dollars.

Belt-tightening has become an almost annual ritual at the weekly after The Voice, along with other publications, was bought bought by New Times, a chain of weeklies. What then became Village Voice Media was formed in the belief that a combined group of weeklies could use a national advertising approach to resist the broader economic tide.