The Village Voice’s weekly news column, “Runnin’ Scared,” has been quietly dropped from the paper for two consecutive weeks, after a 15-month run in the Voice’s news pages.
This week’s Voice also failed to include the second part of two-part series by reporter Graham Rayman on Columbia professor Madonna Constantine, after promising readers in last week’s issue that it would appear. The second part of the Rayman article showed up this morning on the paper’s website.
The “Runnin’ Scared” column was re-launched by editor-in-chief Tony Ortega shortly after he took charge of the alt-weekly in March of 2007; the weekly news feature had been a mainstay of the Voice beginning in the 1970s.
Wayne Barrett, a longtime Village Voice staff writer and regular contributor to “Runnin’ Scared,” said he believes the column’s absence isn’t permanent. “I would know if it was cut,” Barrett said.
Responding via email to an inquiry from New York Press, Ortega wrote:
“Some weeks we run Runnin’ Scared, some weeks we don’t. This week, because of the July 4 holiday, we only ran a 104-page paper, so we had to cut several things – news as well as culture pieces.
“You’re still at 40 pages, right? I bet your editors also find that it’s difficult to get everything in. Look around. Everyone is running leaner papers in this difficult paper.”
A follow-up email from Ortega one minute later offered a small clarification: “I meant ‘difficult time’ there at the end…” he wrote.