Turmoil at the Voice

The LA Weekly shares owners with the Village Voice and must be closely observing the tremors shivering the timbers of the New York weekly. As the New York Times summarizes Monday, the Voice recently fired executive editor Richard Goldstein and online editor Matt Haber and laid off six editorial staffers. Don Forst, the former L.A. Herald Examiner editor who runs the Voice, says there is a fundamental change underway:

"The restructuring situation is tied into our efforts going from a weekly product to, with the Web, daily journalism electronically, in which we're putting stuff up on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis," he said. "The restructuring is putting new resources there, to the Web site, while at the same time maintaining the paper."

Staff at the Weekly had to pick up on that and wonder if changes are coming here too. The Weekly began last year to post occasional stories on the website ahead of the print paper, the majority of them from Hollywood columnist Nikki Finke. But the Weekly's desk has been slow to post scoops when it has them, and the paper seems anything but eager to embrace the news-breaking and audience-building powers of the Web. With what's going on at headquarters in New York, I wonder if it's only a matter of time. Also: The NYT stresses, again, that the recent resignation of Voice media columnist Cynthia Cotts was unrelated to the staff restructuring. Forst says she will be replaced.

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