Voice Media Group announced today that veteran editor Tom Finkel will take the reins of the Village Voice later this summer.
For the past 10 years Finkel has helmed VMG’s Riverfront Times in St. Louis, where his staff regularly brings home national awards in writing and design. Five RFT stories are finalists in this year’s National Association of Black Journalists newspaper contest, including Finkel’s “Plenty of Guilt to Go Around,” an investigation of a murder conviction cowritten with Tony D’Souza.
“Tom understands our media business at a high level,” said VMG Executive Editor Christine Brennan. “He has been one of our most progressive editors in balancing print and web journalism. I know I can entrust the Voice to him, and that he’ll do great work there.”
Finkel has worked in weekly journalism since 1989, after earning his M.A. in creative writing at Brown University. He served as managing editor at Miami New Times for eight years before becoming editor at City Pages in Minneapolis, where he stayed nearly five years.
“The Village Voice is the quintessential reflection of New York culture,” Finkel said. “My parents had deep roots there–my father grew up in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, my mother on Riverside Drive–and I’m thrilled at the prospect of my family putting down roots of our own.”
Three New Staff Writer Hires Also Announced
Upon arriving in New York, Finkel will be reunited with Albert Samaha, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism who began his journalistic career in 2011 as a Voice Media Group fellow for Finkel at the RFT. After winning his own NABJ “Salute to Excellence” award in St. Louis, for a story on a controversial high-school football coach (that story also was named one of the nation’s “notable” sports features by the editors of Houghton Mifflin’s annual Best American Sportswriting anthology), Samaha transferred to SF Weekly in San Francisco; he returned to New York to join the Voice writing staff earlier this month.
Also joining the Voice writing staff earlier this month were Tessa Stuart, a graduate of UC Berkeley who worked as a staff writer at Santa Cruz Weekly before taking a VMG fellowship at LA Weekly last year; and Anna Merlan, another Columbia Graduate School of Journalism graduate who has come back to New York after a writing stint at VMG’s Dallas Observer.
Stuart was just honored with a second-place award from the L.A. Press Club for her story “The Break Up,” about political maneuvering at a local public-radio station, while Merlan’s June 20 cover story for the Observer, “Who’s Left Behind When a Soldier Commits Suicide?” was named a featured selection on Longreads.com.