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Village Voice shuts down after 63 years

Village Voice shuts down after 63 years
Village Voice shuts down after 63 years

In this Nov. 27, 2013 photo, plastic newspaper boxes for The Village Voice stand along a Manhattan sidewalk in New York.  (AP)

A year after halting its print publications, the infamous weekly The Village Voice is folding due to financial woes, ending a 63-year run.

Publisher Peter Barbey made the announcement on Friday, saying that the now digital-only publication is shutting down because of finances and that most of the 18 remaining staffers have already been laid off.

"Today is kind of a sucky day," he told staff members.

The Voice was the country's first alternative newsweekly, founded in Greenwich Village in 1955 by a group that included writer Norman Mailer. It once had a weekly circulation of 250,000 copies and was home to some of New York's best investigative journalists and music writers.

The combative, left-leaning paper became known for its brash political reporting and its coverage of music and theater. It also became a powerful advocate for New York's gay community.

It won three Pulitzers, for editorial cartooning and feature writing in the 1980s and for international reporting in 2000 for a series on AIDS in Africa.

Barbey, also president of the Reading Eagle newspaper in Pennsylvania, bought The Voice in 2015 in an attempt to save it following a series of ownership changes, staff departures and losses in readership and advertising that had left it, like many other newspapers, in a state of perpetual peril.

He tried to stem the paper's losses by giving up print publication last summer and publishing online only — a step that removed The Voice from the sidewalk boxes that were a fixture on New York street corners for generations.

The move, however, failed to stop the financial bleeding.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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