Tony Ortega, editor of The Village Voice, just announced on the weekly's news blog Runnin' Scared that he's leaving the paper.
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"Next week will be my last as editor of the Voice," Ortega wrote. "I will be leaving to pursue a book proposal about Scientology in its time of crisis."
Ortega came to the Voice in March of 2007 from another alt weekly in South Florida owned by the Voice's parent company, after working in other papers in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Kansas City for the chain.
He points out that he's written 465 blog posts on Scientology in the last two years, or about one per day-and-a-half, even as his newspaper has weathered several bouts of serious downsizing.
Also this morning, writer, editor and music critic for the Voice Maura Johnston tweeted that it was her last day at the paper:
There has also been controversy over the parent company, Village Voice Media, which owns the website Backpage.com. The online classifieds site is seen by many advocates for victims of sex trafficking as a marketplace for traffickers; in May, the City Council passed a resolution calling on the company to get rid of its "adult services" classifieds section; the continuing protests have also cost the newspaper advertisers.
We're also hearing that another round of layoffs is taking place there this morning, but we haven't confirmed that yet; we'll be updating this story as we learn more.