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Posts Tagged ‘Wayne Barrett’

Last Remaining Village Voice Vet Sent Packing

VillageVoiceCover1030On the same day that The Raw Story announced the hiring of former Village Voice EIC Tony Orgeta as its new executive editor, Capital New York’s Joe Pompeo revealed that one of Ortega’s former charges has been laid off.

Graham Rayman, a staff reporter who had been at the Voice for six years and made waves in 2010 with his investigation of NYPD’s 81st Precinct, is the latest victim of what has turned out to be a full wipe of the old Village Voice guard:

Rayman, who joined the Voice in 2007 from Newsday, was the last staff writer on the masthead who’d been there for a number of years. The newsroom now largely consists of journalists and editors brought in from other titles that are a part of the Voice Media Group, a nationwide alternative-newsweekly chain that acquired the Voice in 2005 and renamed itself after the paper.

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New York Times On Wayne Barrett: ‘Gathering information trumps all else.’

The New York Times takes a hard look at Wayne Barrett, and the result is mostly what you’d expect: Barrett is a fantastic investigative reporter, but also a grumpy old man.

In the piece, the pleasingly gruff Barrett offers up some gems. He notes that he never got an explanation for being forced out at The Village Voice, says he’s never had much use for editors, and on that subject, says, “Tony Ortega is the hardest working editor and the most skillful editor of copy that I’ve ever had. But I’ve never liked him very much.”

Barrett also shows some sympathy to the mayors of the city’s past – who were often skewered in his columns – by telling the Times that his biggest regret is not writing more about the positive things Ed Koch did.

But before you think he’s mellowed out, there’s this:

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Newsweek/Daily Beast Deal Finally Complete

It’s been in the works for months, but the deal to merge Newsweek magazine and Tina Brown‘s The Daily Beast website is finally complete. As expected, The Daily Beast will be running the show. Brown will take over editorial operations for both entities and Daily Beast president Stephen Colvin will now be CEO of the joint venture. Pre-merger Newsweek owner Sidney Harman will be Executive Chairman.

Brown has been staffing up in anticipation of the merger. Yesterday it was announced she added exiled Village Voice writer Wayne Barrett and New Yorker staffer Peter J. Boyer to her crew. Not a bad way to start the week.

Press release after the jump:

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Tina Brown Adds Peter Boyer and Wayne Barrett

Sidney Deane, the hustler charachter from White Men Can’t Jump, once said,  “I don’t mean to brag, but I’m the greatest!” After today, FishbowlNY imagines Tina Brown might want to add that quote to her repertoire as well.

The Newsweek/Daily Beast venture she’s in charge of keeps adding elite talent, showing that Brown knows how to put together a winning squad. The latest additions include Peter Boyer from The New Yorker and Wayne Barrett, most recently from The Village Voice.

According to Jeremy Peters at Media Decoder, Boyer will be a correspondent for news and politics, and Barrett will do what he does best – investigative reporting.

Once the Newsweek/Daily Beast entity gets launched we fully expect Brown to send out an email to competitors with the subject, “It’s hard work makin’ you look this bad.”

Tom Robbins Comments on Leaving the Village Voice

Yesterday was a tough one at the Village Voice, as veteran reporters Wayne Barrett and Tom Robbins both left the paper. A bit of a controversy as to why Robbins left ensued (the Voice says he just stepped down, the New York Times says he quit in protest), and today, Gothamist caught up with him to get his version of the story:

I don’t know why everyone’s hung up on this thing. Look: If Wayne Barrett was still at the Voice I would be too. I never would have thought of heading out the door if he was there. I wish the paper well, I hope it succeeds, but the decision that they could do without the greatest digger of investigative journalism says a lot about the direction they want to go in.

We’ll take that as a “Yes, I did quit in protest.”

The rest of the interview has Robbins questioning the direction of journalism, saying “Abso-fucking-lutley” and hating on the world of snarky blogs. FishbowlNY has no comment.

Veteran Political Writer Wayne Barrett Out At The Village Voice

After nearly 40 years of service, The Village Voice’s Wayne Barrett is leaving his post as the weekly newspaper’s leading political reporter.  Barrett published his farewell post on The Village Voice’s website and, according to a tweet by The New York Times’s Jeremy Peters, he was fired by the Voice.  Fellow political columnist Tom Robbins has reportedly quit in protest of Barrett’s firing, however he will remain with the paper until the end of the month.

Barrett, who has served under 14 different editors at the Voice, offered a long goodbye in his final column and waxed poetically on the tenets of journalism:

There is also no other job where you get paid to tell the truth. Other professionals do sometimes tell the truth, but it’s ancillary to what they do, not the purpose of their job. I was asked years ago to address the elementary school that my son attended and tell them what a reporter did and I went to the auditorium in a trenchcoat with the collar up and a notebook in a my pocket, baring it to announce that “we are detectives for the people.”

UPDATE: Village Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega denies that Tom Robbins resigned from the paper in protest of Barrett’s firing:

For [Times reporter Jeremy] Peters to say that Robbins quit in protest without even calling me and asking me about it is really irresponsible. I really enjoyed working with both of these guys. There are no hard feelings between either of us.