Donald J. trump is tickled orange that Peter Barbey shut down the fakest newspaper in New York City, after the New York Times

Donald Trump can find a lot to adore in Peter Barbey. Like Trump, Barbey is a reputed billionaire whose fortune landed on him by virtue of the fortuitousness of his birth. Barbey mirrors Trump's belligerence toward the working folk, particularly card-carrying union members. And when it comes to merging business sense with scam artistry, Trump and Barbey share a key affinity for taking something of value and turning it into shit.


Barbey is best known in this parts as the mite media mogul who assumed the reins of Reading Eagle Company after the previous management team ran it into the dirt. But little Petey's vision extended beyond the boundaries of Berks. In 2015 he used some of the wealth his ancestors bequeathed him to buy the Village Voice, vowing through clenched teeth that the storied alternative weekly would "survive and prosper." He cemented this commitment to his new toy by purchasing a $26-million condo in the heart of the West Village.

Prince Peter's journalistic instincts revved to full throttle less than two years later when he shut down the Voice's print edition, boasting that an online-only Voice would reflect "the ever-evolving world around it.. for a new generation of people — and for generations to come."

 For another 12 months anyway.

On Friday, which he lamented as "kind of a sucky day," Citizen Barbey concluded that his fortune can be put to better use than maintaining the tradition of a paper co-founded by Norman Mailer, whose pages were once graced with the legendary prose of Ezra Pound, Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, Jack Newfield, Robert Christgau, Andrew Sarris, Lester Bangs...and on and on. Hiring staff to spiff up a $26-million condo can be quite dear!

Here's Jenna Priest, Reading Eagle Company's human services boss, shooing shellshocked staffers off the premises Friday.


Let's hear one of the laid-off staffers, Harry Siegel, tell it:

But fear not! While “due to, basically, business realities, we're going to stop publishing Village Voice new material,” Barbey vows that the brand will live on.

"I bought the Village Voice to save it, this isn't exactly how I thought it was going to end up. I'm still trying to save the Village Voice," he said.

Look, the paper’s problems preceded him and maybe his mid-life crisis dream of resurrecting a brand of his own kept the Voice alive a little longer and paid for Aaron Gordon and Talia Lavin and others to do some fine work there in its final days.

That said, fuck Peter D. Barbey.

Today, Peter D. Barbey is the toast of Gotham.

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Perhaps publisher Petey, who once said that running a newspaper is "an obligation and a privilege at the same time," was playing 12-dimensional bridge all along.  Instead of preserving the legacy of the "dropouts and the beatniks and the aesthetes and the outsiders" who made the Voice such a lower Manhattan institution over half a century, maybe his game all along was to shutter the paper as a bastion of fresh journalism and instead cash in on the trove of classic writing by the giants of the Fourth Estate penned when Peter was just a pipsqueak in prep school. Sounds like a plan.


The Village Voice is dead. The Reading Eagle lives. For those staffers , sucky days may lie ahead.

Reading Eagle has a bold plan to replace grizzled veterans with fuzzy-faced newcomers

Just how do you build a winning newspaper in this era of upheaval in the media industry? Peter Barbey, the CEO at Reading Eagle, has a swell idea.

Here is what this front-office genius has announced: Aging staffers still lumbering around the newsroom have been offered a cash buyout if they take an early — and in some cases late, very late — retirement. This will eliminate fat salaries that can be used to beef up the depleted staff with eager-beavers just out of journ school, as well as clear big bucks for Peter the Little to decorate his sprawling $26.5-million Greenwich Village crash pad with artifacts from the Titanic.

What could possibly go wrong with that strategy?

After all, three staffers with a combined 125 years of experience have been limping in and out of editor Harry Deitz's office all week (allegedly, this tip comes from the inside) to discuss their exit.

And what a glorious opportunity it is!

Each retiree can pocket $9,000 to hit the road, with the severance paid over three years, thus delivering a healthy tax break (for the Eagle). And the ex-pats won't have to worry about any co-pay for health care because they will not be part of the Eagle health plan anymore.

Oh, and since that nine grand is spread over three years, each retiree can purchase a nice case of craft beer each month while basking in the glow of being free from the shithole.

Take a number fellas. Harry has appointments booked solid all week.

Citizen Barbey shares revenue report with his staff and the numbers are "YUUUGE!"

Peter Barbey, the wee CEO driving both the Reading Eagle and The Village Voice into the ditch, in no particular order, delivered his quarterly staff report this week, and the numbers weren't very pretty.

As Donald Trump would say: "LOSER!!!"

Revenue from the rebranded Reading Eagle Press (REP, to you acronymoholics) plunged a whopping 28.7% last year, largely because Barbey was such a dickwad in pissing off his largest client, Albert Boscov, by refusing to renegotiate the retailer's printing deal.

The mite newspaper magnate spun the grim news by offering that "it really hurt us, but it didn't kill us," which is a what a lot of Republicans are still saying today.

Relatively speaking, WEEU radio, the voice of Berks County, is going great guns, showing a loss of only 10.2% last year. No mention was made whether the nosedive could be linked to the content sucking or whether station boss Dave Kline was too busy watching cash crumble as chief of Pretzel City Productions concerts.

Barbey assured his staff that the company was all set to resume matching 401(k) contributions for employees until that prick Boscov pulled his account and left the company gasping for air.

Instead, the paper will offer staffers buyouts paying 25 cents for every year of service.

The tiny tycoon then fled the room, saying he had to head to New York to select drapes for his new $26.5 million Greenwich Village condo.

Managing editor Dave Mowery fiddled with his necktie. Editor/associate publisher Harry Deitz slouched glumly throughout the wake playing with his iPhone and scouring the floor for pennies.