In an article appearing in the Oct. 17, 1979 issue of the Wall Street Journal, David Blum exhibited an early fascination with the alt-weekly format. Blum, who was recently named editor of the Village Voice, wrote: "Some newspapers do a lot of strange things. Take the Chicago Reader." In addition to exploring the Reader's free-classifieds strategy and its strong hold on both readers and advertisers, Blum questioned the paper's lack of political coverage: "[Co-owner Robert] Roth dates the paper's first issue, that of October 1971, as 'five months after the Kent State Shootings' -- which would seem hardly the time for an alternative paper to concentrate on suggesting what to do on a Saturday night." Blum's article is available for $4.95 in the Wall Street Journal archives.
Blum (pictured) is a veteran New York journalist who has worked at Esquire, New York magazine, and The New York Times Magazine. He is also an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the author of two books: Flash in the Pan: The Life and Death of an American Restaurant and Tick... Tick... Tick...: The Long Life and Turbulent Times of 60 Minutes. In a press release, Blum says, "I believe in the limitless possibilities of weeklies, and in the power of narrative journalism to change the way people think and feel. ... I want New Yorkers to read the Voice, and to be moved, entertained, amused, confronted and compelled by what it has to say." His first day at the Voice will be Sept. 12.