Village Voice hires ex-Dan’s Papers CEO ahead of print revival

The Village Voice, which has been onerous to seek out on newsstands since 2017, has employed the previous CEO of Dan’s Papers with daring plans to begin publishing an everyday print version by early subsequent yr, Media Ink has realized.

Steven McKenna begins as chief income officer of the long-lasting paper on July 6 — working first on a commemorative problem for 9/11.

“I think we will go monthly through December,” he stated of the paper’s print plans. After that, he stated, the objective is to return to print each different week.

The Village Voice was the nation’s first various newsweekly when it was based in 1955, and it shortly gained a following for its colourful options and reducing critiques.

But its former proprietor, Peter Barbey — who was initially hailed as a savior — dropped print in 2017 and stopped publishing altogether the next yr.

Brian Calle’s Street Media purchased the paper in December 2020 with plans to first restart the web site after which return to print.

To that finish, the Voice produced 50,000 copies of a little-noticed print prototype within the spring, overseen by performing managing editor R.C. Baker, a veteran of the outdated Village Voice. Street Media additionally owns LA Weekly, Irvine Weekly and San Francisco’s Marina Times.

One of the primary targets, of course, is to assist Street Media land an editor-in-chief. “I’ve sent a few names to Brian (Calle),” stated McKenna, a longtime newspaper veteran.

But he likened his general process on the Voice to the enterprise diversification effort he pushed at Dan’s Papers when it was owned by Richard Burns’ Manhattan Media.

The Village Voice newspaper box
The Village Voice dropped its print version in 2017 and stopped publishing altogether quickly after. A brand new proprietor purchased it in 2020 with plans to restart the model.
Christopher Sadowski

“When I got there, it had one event, when I left we were doing 14 major events that brought in $2 million a year,” he stated of Dan’s.

At the Voice, he stated, “We have to diversify with events, publications, digital and combo packages.”

“My job is to support the editorial mission by raising enough revenue to get it back to where it once was, and even better,” he stated.

Dan's Papers cover featuring an illustration of dozens of people on a beach
Steven McKenna spent eight years working Dan’s Papers.

McKenna is the primary staffer employed by Street Media in New York because the 66-year-old publication, which counts three Pulitzer Prizes together with a George Polk Award in its storied previous, begins over from scratch.

He spent eight years working Dan’s and was there for the acquisition of The Independent from Ron Perlman. He left when Schneps Publications acquired Dan’s Independent Media last year.

Richard Burns, his former boss at Dan’s stated of McKenna, “He was behind some of the ground-breaking changes that transformed Dan’s from a one-horse local newsprint paper to the Hampton’s leading multi-media business. He’s exactly what a lapsed brand like the Voice needs.”

Steven McKenna wearing sunglasses
Steven McKenna, newly tapped to be chief income officer of The Village Voice, says diversifying income with occasions, publications, digital and combo packages will likely be a necessity.
Patrick McMullan through Getty Images

Earlier in his profession, McKenna spent 18 years at Newsday as the pinnacle of retail promoting, the place he weathered the paper’s notorious circulation pumping scandal underneath Tribune Publishing.

Nine Newsday executives have been sentenced to probation in 2008 for pumping Newsday’s circulation and its sister publication Hoy from 2000 to 2004. Newsday voluntarily refunded $96 million to advertisers and paid $15 million in federal fines. McKenna’s job was to attempt to maintain the advertisers comfortable by the turmoil. “My group was handling about $180 million in business,” he stated.

McKenna’s plans for the Voice have been echoed by CEO Calle in an interview he did with the LA Times shortly after he purchased the Voice in 2020. Calle stated, “Besides its reputation for hard-hitting investigative journalism — which is going to be needed in the aftermath of COVID — people are going to want to go out, whether it’s to concerts or festivals or nightlife or food or art or the theater. The Voice is probably more important than ever.”

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