Longtime restaurant critic Robert Sietsema has been let go by the Village Voice in New York City. First reported by Gawker, Sietsema was among others let go in what is being called a "bloodbath." Sietsema confirms with Eater that he was "unceremoniously shit canned!" (His words.) Just last week top two editors at the Voice quit when they were told "to lay off, or drastically reduce the roles of, five employees on the 20-person staff."
Sietsema had worked for the paper for twenty years, during which time he won several awards for his work. He also managed to stay more or less anonymous through it all. Eater NY has more: "Although he's perhaps most famous for his comprehensive coverage of outer-borough restaurants, Sietsema also frequently filed on the big Manhattan openings, and he wrote about new discoveries and different aspects of New York food culture on the Voice's Fork in the Road blog."
It's rough out there for a restaurant critic: Sietsema's firing rounds out a trio of recent losses to the critic community. Both Michael Nagrant of the Chicago Sun-Times and Hanna Raskin of Seattle Weekly have been laid off in the past month. It's a tragic day when the number of quality restaurants in this country is steadily increasing and the jobs of people who professionally write about them are being massacred. Meanwhile, it seems like Facebook is launching a Yelp competitor, so congratulations, America.