Graham Rayman is laid off from ‘Village Voice’

Some Village Voices of yore. ()
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The Village Voice has laid off yet another veteran journalist.

Staff writer Graham Rayman, a long-time investigative reporter who joined the Voice more than six years ago, was let go today, Capital has learned.

Rayman's termination, which was handed down by editor-in-chief Tom Finkel, is the latest in a string of downsizing at the Voice over the past several years.

Rayman, who joined the Voice in 2007 from Newsday, was the last staff writer on the masthead who'd been there for a number of years. The newsroom now largely consists of journalists and editors brought in from other titles that are a part of the Voice Media Group, a nationwide alternative-newsweekly chain that acquired the Voice in 2005 and renamed itself after the paper.

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Since then, the parent company has instituted round after round of budget cuts, and legendary Voice writers like Wayne Barrett, Nat Hentoff, J. Hoberman, Michael Musto and others have all lost their jobs in the process.

The past year has been particularly tumultuous.

Tony Ortega, who became editor in 2007, resigned last September. (Coincidentally, it was announced today that he has taken a job as executive editor of The Raw Story.)

Ortega's successor, Will Bourne, lasted only five months, stepping down in May after he refused to implement layoffs he said he'd been told were not on the table when he accepted the job.

In July, Voice Media Group imported Finkel from the St. Louis Riverfront Times to edit the company's embattled flagship paper, which has weathered declines in circulation and advertising revenue and a national controversy over sex ads.

Finkel declined to comment, saying the Voice does not discuss personnel matters. It's worth noting the paper is also searching for a managing editor at the moment.

As for Rayman, perhaps best known for his muckraking "NYPD Tapes" series, he declined to comment for this article beyond the following statement: “I had a really good run at the Voice. I won a series of awards for my work, including the New York Press Club’s top prize and two Association of Alternative News Weekly awards. It was a great experience, and I’m excited about pursuing new opportunities in journalism. I wish editor Tom Finkel and the staff all the best.”