That's what a source told Boston Phoenix media critic Mark Jurkowitz after Village Voice Media's new Executive Editor Michael Lacey met with "about 30 staffers" in New York on Feb. 1. "This industry has been afflicted by this kind of shut-in mentality," Lacey told Jurkowitz. "Are people prepared to receive the message? There were a lot of people [at that meeting] who didn't like what I said." One of them was media columnist Sydney Schanberg, who said Lacey's "language was adversarial and pugnacious. ... He played the bully. I respond terribly to bullies." Voice columnist Nat Hentoff didn't respond well either, especially when Lacey criticized one of his columns and complained about "reporting that was stenography." But Hentoff decided not to resign because he's waiting to see how Lacey treats his work. Jurkowitz also covered the recent resignation of the editorial staff at the New York Press and interpreted the "turmoil" at both papers as "a sure indicator that the alt-weekly business ... is struggling for relevance in an increasingly fragmented marketplace."
After a decade at The Boston Globe, the media critic left New England's largest daily to take back his old job at The Boston Phoenix. In this piece, Jurkowitz explains why a "middle-aged journalist with mortgages" left the influence and economic benefits of a large paper for an alt-weekly "with fewer resources, less clout, and a smaller audience."