The Gawker Archives – Pickets, Lawsuits, Sex Ads, and Hard Times at the Village Voice

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.

Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”,  the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.

The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out”  for greed.  I was a regular reader and found it to be a straight forward New York smart blog.

I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published.  As if the archives are being scrubbed.  If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.

This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information.   So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.

 

http://gawker.com/5860101/pickets-lawsuits-sex-ads-and-hard-times-at-the-village-voice

 

Pickets, Lawsuits, Sex Ads, and Hard Times at the Village Voice

8.39K

11/16/11 12:42PM

Filed to: MEDIA

The Village Voice has problems. The paper had yet another round of layoffs last month, as part of a nationwide cull by its parent company. (Not to be confused with the other layoffs earlier this year.) Like most alt-weeklies, the Voice depends on sex and drug ads for its very survival. The paper’s so desperate for revenue that it’s suing Time Out NY for using the phrase “Best in NYC.” You know that belongs to the Village Voice, right?

And today, Voice staffers get the funnest bonus yet: a big protest at their headquarters! (Photos here.) An anti-sex-trafficking group is picketing the Voice today to protest the sex ads on Backpage.com, the Craigslist doppelganger that more or less keeps Village Voice Media afloat. (A recent lawsuit against Backpage failed, and considering the financial situation of alt-weeklies today, don’t expect it to cut off any revenue streams voluntarily any time soon.) Alicia Keys and Gloria Steinem will both be there, reportedly, so be sure to go and stare slack-jawed!

Village Voice Media sent out an internal letter to employees telling them to “respect the rights” of the protesters, but making clear that the company disagrees with them, and asserting that “Village Voice Media is the industry leader in policing our site to keep underage kids out of adult classifieds.” Well… who else would be to be policing your site? Eh. We asked Voice editor Tony Ortega for his take:

Ah, you know. I loved Nick Pinto’s story last week about NYU. I thought Graham Rayman had a good get this week on Ray Kelly. Next week, for Thanksgiving, we have a treat from Jen Doll. I mean, that’s what you do, right? You just keep it going, week after week, while hoping someday Obama pulls his head out of his ass and gets this economy going again. I’d like to start hiring again, dammit.

As for the protests today, I wish them the best of luck. No one who actually works in this office has anything to do with Backpage, but still, I understand why they picked our building. The people who work for Eater and Foursquare — won’t they have stories to tell.

Keep on truckin, alt-weeklies. Keep on truckin, protesters. And keep on truckin, online classified sex ad patrons. You’re all in this together.

[Photo via VillageVoicePimp.com]

The Gawker Archives – Village Voice Media Asked to Make Up Lie About ‘Monitoring’ Its Hooker Site

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.

Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”,  the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.

The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out”  for greed.  I was a regular reader and found it to be a straight forward New York smart blog.

I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published.  As if the archives are being scrubbed.  If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.

This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information.   So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.

Village Voice Media Asked to Make Up Lie About ‘Monitoring’ Its Hooker Site

9.85K

08/31/11 02:22PM

Filed to: MEDIA ROUNDUP

In your merciless Wednesday media column: attorneys general come after Backpage.com, a photo editor bravely falls on his sword, a new CFO at NewsBeast, Conde Nast figures out the internets, and the amusing NYT-Yahoo rumor.

  • The attorneys general of 45 states have sent a letter to Village Voice Media regarding its Craigslist knockoff Backpage.com, asking the company “to prove it is monitoring the site to prevent illegal activity.” Haha, what? Then nobody would put their ads there! Stupid idiots. Also most state attorneys general are big Ashton Kutcher fans.

The Gawker Archives – Village Voice Media’s Last Ditch Effort to Save Itself Will Probably Fail

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.

Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”,  the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.

The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out”  for greed.  I was a regular reader and found it to be a straight forward New York smart blog.

I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published.  As if the archives are being scrubbed.  If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.

This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information.   So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.

12.26K

09/24/12 09:20AM

Filed to: MEDIA

Village Voice Media, owner of the Voice and a dozen other alt-weeklies across the country, has decided to try a nifty trick: it’s cleaving itself in two. Executives from the company are “buying out” all of the papers, putting them into what is technically a new, standalone company. And VVM’s main profit center, hooker ad site Backpage.com, is going to be left in its own separate company, controlled by VVM bosses Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. This is a weird gambit.

The only rational reason to do this is to try to end the ongoing (and successful) PR campaign that’s been waged against the company over its ownership of Backpage, which has a pesky tendency of hosting ads for child prostitutes or sex trafficked girls once in a while. Advertisers have fled the company’s alt-weeklies as a result of the bad publicity over the past year or more. But more advertisers have fled the company’s alt-weeklies due to facts that A) Craigslist took all the classified advertising away from alt-weeklies, and B) print newspaper advertising in general has been dying for a decade. In short, alt-weeklies are a dying business model. So what’s the plan here?

I mean, sure, fine, you spin off Backpage (which had revenue close to $30 million last year, and which is a very successful business, due to the fact that it’s occupying a niche that Craigslist decided to get out of), and maybe, maybe you quiet down all the boycotts of the newspapers, which are now in a separate company. But, so what? You now have a company consisting solely of alt-weeklies, which are a dying business model, and without the hooker ad revenue that was keeping the whole thing afloat. Where is the logic? There’s a bit of obscurity in the deal—it could be that Backpage’s owners will simply turn around and funnel that money back into the papers as investors. Or, maybe it’s true what Scott Tobias, the new CEO of the group of newspapers, says to Keith Kelly:

He insisted the new company is “absolutely” profitable without the lucrative Backpage and that he has no connection to or investment in the site.

That would absolutely blow my mind if true, but… who are we to say? I mean, logically, it seems more likely that these alt-weeklies will just continue their downward spiral faster without all that hooker ad money, unless there is some financial trickery here that we’re missing. But hey, we’re pulling for them. Good luck to all alt-weekly employees, for as long as it lasts.

[Photo: Stan Wiechers/ Flickr]

 

http://gawker.com/5945821%2Fvillage-voice-medias-last-ditch-effort-to-save-itself-will-probably-fail

 

 

The Gawker Archives on Tony Ortega

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.

Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”,  the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.

The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out”  for greed.  I was a regular reader and found it to be a straight forward New York smart blog.

I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published.  As if the archives are being scrubbed.  If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.

This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information.   So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.

Tony Ortega Named ‘Voice’ Editor

1.75K

03/05/07 04:21PM

Filed to: VILLAGE VOICE

The Observer announces that Tony Ortega, a former editor of Village Voice Media’s Broward-Palm Beach New Times, will take over at the Voice. He was formerly the managing editor of the company’s paper in Kansas City, The Pitch. The speedy announcement suggests that the Voice owners had a replacement for outgoing editor David Blum in the wings. Blum was let go on Friday.

UPDATE: The Voice press release has gone out, and they’ve cutely tried to tie Ortega to New York. “Ortega and his wife Fatimah, who is from Jakarta, Indonesia, are looking forward to reacquainting themselves with New York, where Ortega remembers—with no small amount of nostalgia—his days as an LA punk attending shows at CBGB and the Peppermint Lounge. Ortega no longer has a mohawk and is looking forward to leading the Village Voice.” Ah, we see: L.A. boy comes to New York, washes out. We’re on to him already. Better luck this time, dude!

New Village Voice Editor Is Tony Ortega [NY Observer]

Followed up on The Observer

 

New [em]Voice[/em] Editor Ortega: “Why Would I Hesitate?”

“I’m trying not to worry about all that crap on Gawker,” said Tony Ortega, the newly named editor in chief of the Village Voice. “I don’t feel it reflects the people and the work there.”

On Mar. 4, two days after the previous editor in chief, David Blum, was fired, Village Voice Media boss Michael Lacey called Ortega up and offered him the job. Despite four editors’ worth of turnover since January 2006, when New Times purchased the paper and took the Village Voice Media name, Ortega decided to accept.

“Why would I hesitate?” Ortega asked. “It’s the Village Voice. It’s a terrific newspaper with a storied past, and what journalist wouldn’t want to do it?”

“I’m sure this will be criticized since I’m not a New Yorker,” said Ortega. Ortega said he’s looking forward to learning from the Voice‘s staff.

What about his relationship with Lacey, who’s often accused of micromanaging the newspaper from Phoenix?

“I never really had that problem with him,” said Ortega. “I’ve always had complete freedom to do what I wanted.” Ortega has worked for Lacey at multiple New Times papers, most recently as the top editor at the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.

He will greet his new staff on Friday, Mar. 9. (2007)

“I’m a half-Mexican kid from L.A. without New York experience,” Ortega said. “We’ll just see.”

Michael Calderone

The Gawker Archives on Village Voice Child Sex Trafficking

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.

Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”,  the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.

The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out”  for greed.  I was a regular reader and found it to be a straight forward New York smart blog.

I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published.  As if the archives are being scrubbed.  If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.

This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information.   So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.

Village Voice Has a Child Prostitution Problem (Updated)

Craigslist shut down its Adult Services section, caving to Attorneys General and anti-sex trafficking groups. But, as we pointed out, there are many other places to buy sex online. One, Backpage.com, is being sued by a former child prostitute.

According to Ars Technica, the former child prostitue was hawked on Backpage.com—a Craigslist knockoff owned by Village Voice Media—by her pimp starting at age 14. In her lawsuit, she claims that VVM knew that the explicit pictures her pimp posted of her on Backpage depicted a minor, and that they were advertising prostitution. This knowledge, the suit argues, should put exempt them from the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites from liability for what their users post.

From Ars Technica:

“Defendant had a strong suspicion that the aforementioned crimes were being committed,” reads the complaint. “Defendant had a desire that these posters accomplished their nefarious illegal prostitution activities so that the posters would return to the website and pay for more posting.”

Look for anti-trafficking activists and Attorneys General, flush from their victory over Craigslist, to jump on Backpage and its thriving “adult” section next. The Village Voice sure has been having a lot of penis-related financial troubles, lately. (via mediaite)

Update:
We’ve received a statement from Village Voice Media’s Steve Suskind. In it, he writes:

The lawsuit is riddled with errors. The claim that we knowingly assisted [the child’s pimp] in committing criminal acts is a lie fabricated by a trial lawyer looking for a payday. The attorney seeks to redirect blame from a convicted predator to Backpage.com, which helped prosecute the criminal.

Without our knowledge, the predator violated our terms of use. Backpage.com has stringent safeguards in place to ensure that only adults use the site. We provided the FBI with the perpetrator’s I.P. address and credit-card information.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 recognized that the very nature of the Internet meant that vast traffic depended on the ability of citizens to post directly onto websites like Backpage.com, Facebook, MySpace or eBay, or to have search engines like Google and Yahoo find postings without pre-screening or censorship. The responsibility, under the law, rests with the person supplying the post.

In the last two years, Backpage.com has had 58 million posts, of which 6 million were adult. In this vast exchange of information, law enforcement agencies have asked for our testimony in precisely five underage cases.

Because one case is too many, we have, and we will continue to, cooperate willingly with authorities.

09/19/10 01:58PM

Filed to: PROSTITUTION
NOTE: Village Voice Media did not cooperate with Authorities and owners were held in contempt of Congress.   Furthermore it was discovered the moderators at Village Voice Classifieds were coaching people on how to place the ads and pocketing the advertising dollars. 
 Minors are trafficking victims.  There is no such thing as a child prostitute. By definition & law, minors are trafficked.

The Gawker Archives On Village Voice Sex Slavery and Ashton Kutcher

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.

Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”,  the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.

The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out”  for greed.  I was a regular reader and found it to be a straight forward New York smart blog.

I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published.  As if the archives are being scrubbed.  If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.

This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information.   So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.

Ashton Kutcher Will Destroy Newspaper Over Sex Slavery Article

76.59K

07/01/11 03:51PM

Filed to: FEUDS

Famous Twitter user Ashton Kutcher is extremely upset at the Village Voice. The paper wrote a cover story making fun of him and bashing his anti-sex trafficking efforts. Now he will make sure no company advertises in the paper or on its site, ever.

There must be no digital entertainment conferences happening this week, because tech guru Ashton Kutcher has spent much of the last couple days locked in a fierce Twitter battle with the Voice over its article debunking the sex slavery panic he has done much to promote, with his incomprehensible “Real Men” ads. Of course, Village Voice Media makes tons of money from its Backpage.com classifieds site, which has itself been accused of facilitating the trafficking that the paper says is not a big deal.

There have been plenty of good jabs on both sides—Kutcher pointing out the 15-year-old who is suing Village Voice Media for allegedly allowing her to be trafficked on Backpage, the Village Voice tweeting a link to a story about Ashton and Demi chilling with “confessed pimp” Snoop Dogg.

But now, Ashton Kutcher has decided to get serious, resorting to the Twitter-favorite tactic of whining to advertisers when an outlet publishes something you don’t like.

“Hey @AmericanAir,” Kutcher tweeted, “are you aware that you are advertising on a site that supports the Sale of Human Beings (slavery)?”

Whatever poor social media person was running American Airlines’ Twitter account must have had a heart attack over their Subway footlong, because they responded instantly with, “We will address this IMMEDIATELY. Can you please DM us detail of the site, including link?” It’s going to be a let down when they learn it’s just the Village Voice, not something like humanbeings4sale.com.

It’s hard to take sides in this conflict. I’m inclined to support the Village Voice, because the article marshaled convincing evidence even if it was transparently self-interested, and running to advertisers over an article you don’t like is some schoolyard bullshit. And since Ashton Kutcher has as many followers as a small country, he may actually succeed in killing off the Village Voice, which wouldn’t be good for anyone.

Just shut up, and start your own newspaper dedicated solely to stomach-churning underaged sex slavery stories, Ashton Kutcher.

Updates: Wow, like Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter freakout has convinced American Airlines to stop advertising with the Village Voice. Sex slavery problem: Solved.

[Photo of Kutcher via Getty]

The Gawker Archives on Village Voice Hooker Ad Controversy

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.

Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”,  the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.

The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out”  for greed.  I was a regular reader and found it to be a straight forward New York smart blog.

I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published.  As if the archives are being scrubbed.  If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.

This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information.   So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.

The Whole Hooker Ad Controversy Is Back

12.24K

12/10/10 01:16PM

Filed to: MEDIA CRACK

In your ferocious Friday media column: bad PR for Village Voice Media, Glenn Greenwald‘s in fine form, Bloomberg’s up, the NYT Co. is down, and Judith Regan still exists.

  • Ooo, a group called The Rebecca Project is running ads in Village Voice Media-owned papers calling on Village Voice Media to stop selling sex ads on Backpage.com, which is where all the hooker ads are now, FYI. Also, the sex-trafficked persons ads, unfortunately. I wouldn’t expect VVM to do that, though, because, money. Craigslist didn’t need it, but VVM really does.

http://gawker.com/5711399/the-whole-hooker-ad-controversy-is-back