‘I’m feeling very optimistic,’ says fired Village Voice columnist Michael Musto

Michael Musto, who was laid off from the Village Voice last week, tells HuffPost Live: “This outpouring [of support] is amazing. I feel like I’m reading my own obituary while still alive. … I went from tears of horror to absolutely being buoyed by the joy of everyone I’ve ever written about, or who has read my column, coming out to support me.” He adds: “I can’t wait to start my new outlet, which I’ll announce soon.”
HuffPost Live: “I don’t think anybody’s worried about you. I think people are worried about the paper. I mean, what’s the mood like there?”

Michael Musto: “It’s a little dour, but I love the people that work there, so I’m rooting for them. No ill will; besides I’m working on my exit package, so… I love you guys!”

HuffPost Live: “How do they approach someone who’s been working there for 29 years? How do they even broach that conversation?”

Michael Musto: “You just get an email saying come and meet the owner in the conference room and you just go. But there was advance buzz on this happening and already people were calling and emailing. I knew that there was a bright future for me. …The second this was announced people started knocking my door down, so I’m feeling very optimistic. …I can’t wait to start my new outlet, which I’ll announce soon. …I want to be employed, not an icon, and that’s what I’m going to be. So I’m still going to be making waves and challenging people.”

On Monday morning, fired Voice restaurant critic Robert Sietsema tweeted: “My friend and colleague Tejal Rao just resigned from the Voice. I for one will miss reading her in the Voice on a regular basis.”

Nick Pinto tweets: “I just gave notice to the Village Voice that I’ll be resigning after my forthcoming feature.”

* Michael Musto says the mood at the Voice is “dour” (huffingtonpost.com) | Longer video

* The Voice is now advertising for a full-time staff writer. (journalismjobs.com) | The Voice is looking for food bloggers and writers, too. (journalismjobs.com)