Wemple Walks

Wow. Talk about your short tenures. New Village Voice editor Erik Wemple, whose selection was announced on May 31, has decided the job's not for him even before he starts. If you're looking for clues as to what happened, there may be one embedded in this note from Michael Lacey, the executive editor of the new company put together when New Times Media bought Village Voice Media, and despite a stated disdain for the Voice's kind of journalism, renamed the organization Village Voice Media.

"Erik's concerns are not unreasonable," said Michael Lacey, executive editor of Village Voice Media. "The Voice is an enormous and complex horse race. We asked Erik to mount several ponies mid-stride, and he was alarmed to find us still in several of those saddles."

It sounds a little like a struggle, as they say in Hollywood, over "creative control."

I have no reason to think or know that Wemple was a bad choice for the Voice job. But there is something weird about the idea of the Washington-based journalist not even coming to New York for an interview before accepting the Voice job. And I can't help but think Lacey's selection of a non-New Yorker was, in part, his way of dissing the Voice culture -- something he seems eager to do.

Anyway, back to square one and an embarassing and rocky start for the New Times crew at the Voice.

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