'Village Voice' Gets New Editor

Erik Wemple says he'll revamp front of the book

"I've always admired the local focus and the quality writing of the Washington City Paper, and the line of great editors that have made it one of the top metropolitan weeklies in the country," said Village Voice publisher Michael Cohen. "I'm eager to work with Erik to make the Voice even more of a player in New York City than it is today."

Before becoming City Paper's editor, Wemple held a number of jobs in journalism, including head of the Washington bureau of Inside.com, a media news website, and CableWorld magazine. He also served two-year stints as City Paper's senior editor and as its political columnist.

Wemple, who grew up and attended college in upstate New York, will move to New York City with his wife, Stephanie Mencimer, and their two children. He earned a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College and a master's from Georgetown University.

The Village Voice was founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and famed novelist Norman Mailer, and quickly established a reputation for no-holds-barred reporting and criticism. The paper has received three Pulitzer Prizes, as well as Front Page Awards and Deadline Club Awards, and its website has twice been recognized as one of the nation's premier online sites, receiving the National Press Foundation's Online Journalism Award and the Editor and Publisher Eppy Award for best U.S. weekly newspaper online.

Village Voice Media, which operated its New York City flagship and five other papers, merged in January 2006 with the eleven-paper New Times Media, the country's largest publisher of alternative weeklies and a company with a well-established track record of investigative reporting and cutting-edge cultural coverage. Most recent honors for the combined company include the naming of Village Voice art critic Jerry Saltz as a Pulitzer finalist in criticism, and an impressive showing -- four winners and five finalists -- in the James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards.

Village Voice Media (VVM) publishes free weekly newspapers and websites in seventeen major U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, St. Louis, Orange County, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Kansas City, Nashville, the East Bay including Oakland and Berkeley, and the Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area. The print versions have a combined weekly circulation of 1.8 million papers and over 4.3 million readers. The Internet sites currently have in excess of 5 million unique visitors per month.

In addition, VVM operates the Ruxton Media Group, a national advertising sales agency that represents 37 weekly publications from coast to coast with audited circulations of 3.1 million weekly. VVM also owns and licenses Backpage.com, its network of free classified websites, which has a local presence in over 50 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. and Canada.

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