News & Politics

‘Voice’ Change: Schneiderman Out, Jensen In

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David Schneiderman, former CEO of the old Village Voice Media and more recently boss of the 17-paper chain’s digital operations, has resigned.

In a pair of e-mail messages today, the company announced the exit of Schneiderman and the entrance of Bill Jensen, lately editor of the Boston Phoenix but with his own roots in both Village Voice Media and New Times. According to the Phoenix, Jensen was offered the editor-in-chief job of the Voice this year but turned it down.

Moving on: Schneiderman, who got married just a few weeks ago, wrote that he’s tired of living in hotels and on airplanes. (photo by Staci Schwartz)

jensen.jpg

Moving in: Jensen said he’s not sure yet where he’ll live, but he’s sure to be traveling a lot.

Reached at his office in Boston, Jensen said he’s looking forward to adding Web staff for all the papers and getting daily content on all the sites. That content, he said, will include video, podcasting, and text messaging. As for the tone of the content itself, he said the Web sites will remain intensely local.

“The sites will be hyper-local and relevant to each community,” he said. “Everybody’s got to care of their own backyard.”

A call to Schneiderman wasn’t immediately returned. We’ll update this item when we hear from him. For now, after the jump, the corporate e-mail announcements.

From chairman and chief executive officer Jim Larkin:

To all Village Voice Media staff:

David Schneiderman has resigned as President, Village Voice
Media effective today, October 25, 2006. David has a storied history
with VVM; a former editor-in-chief at the Village Voice and CEO of
Village Voice, he provided the institutional impetus that helped
create the six-paper Voice chain which merged earlier this year with
New Times.
It is in large part thanks to his leadership and vision that
VVM exists in its present form, and in the past nine months he has
helped position our Web sites to be editorially and financially
successful moving forward. Now that that work is done, David has
decided to move on and explore other opportunities, and we wish him
well.
Schneiderman says, “After living in hotels and on airplanes
for the last ten years, I look forward to pursuing business ventures
closer to home. I have greatly enjoyed my time with the new Village
Voice Media and wish my colleagues success in their online and print
endeavors.”


And this, from Larkin and executive editor Michael Lacey

Subject: Important Announcement from Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey

October 26, 2006

To: All Village Voice Media Employees

From: Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey

We are pleased to announce that our new director of Web and digital
operations is Bill Jensen, the now-former editor of the Boston Phoenix
and a friend of the company since he wrote the spectacular true-crime
story “Hardcore and Bleeding” for Miami New Times in 2004.

Bill assumes his new role immediately, and his arrival coincides with a
major expansion of staffing as we move to hire a new group of dedicated
Web editors and designers. Those editors and designers will report to
Bill, and will provide a huge shot of forward momentum in our Web
strategy as we move to make our award-winning editorial content
available through a multimedia spectrum including mobile technology and
ground-level video production.

“Village Voice Media has the best storytellers in journalism on the
ground in seventeen cities,” says Jensen. “The opportunity to
enhance the stories they tell each week in new ways, with new media
tools, while at the same time providing compelling hourly content, is my
charge.”

Those of you who are careful readers will recall that Bill’s
“Hardcore and Bleeding” went on to be named “Best in Print”
in the 2005 Green Eyeshade Awards. It was only one of many award-winning
stories he has written or edited, including “My Dad Kicked Your Ass at
Shea Stadium: A Baseball Memoir,” which received a “notable
mention” in the 1999 version of Houghton Mifflin’s Best American
Sportswriting anthology.

Jensen started his working life as a professional roller hockey player
with the New York Riot, but it was as a journalist that he cut his
teeth, starting as a writer and editor at the Long Island Voice. After
the Voice folded, he contributed stories to Newsday and The New York
Times, and edited two pop-culture magazines before being hired as
managing editor of the weekly Long Island Press. Wooed away by the
Phoenix last year, he quickly ascended to the lead editor’s role, and
during his tenure oversaw a rebuild of thephoenix.com that added seven
new blogs, next-day concert reviews, narrated slide shows, and enhanced
audio and visual content.

Bill also pushed the Phoenix into new media frontiers including
original video production, a key example of which is the paper’s
cutting-edge coverage of an underground nighttime bicycle race in
Boston. Under his leadership, the Phoenix saw the biggest increase in
readership in its history, a 26 percent gain over six months. More to
the point, page views on its Web site jumped from 1 million to 1.6
million per month.

Over the next few days and weeks, Bill, his wife Kendall, and their two
children, ages eight and six, will be preparing to leave Boston and move
to a Village Voice city, probably either Phoenix or Denver. Many of you
will be hearing from him shortly; please welcome him when you get the
chance.

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