ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Voice is announcing today a change in the leadership of our local online news organization.

Michael Blaney, previously our advertising director, will become The Ithaca Voice’s executive director and have the final say in all of the non-profit’s decisions.


Jeff Stein, the publication’s founder and editor, will be leaving The Ithaca Voice to take a position at in Washington, D.C.

Jolene Almendarez, previously The Ithaca Voice’s crime and courts reporter, will be stepping into a new position as the Ithaca Voice’s managing editor, in charge of editorial content.

“We’re sad to see Jeff go, but are confident that the team we have will continue to provide the hard-hitting, thoughtful, in-depth local news the Ithaca community has come to expect from us,” said Blaney, who has been with the Ithaca Voice since September 2014.

Related: Thank you for everything, Ithaca. So long (for now)

Five people, not including Stein, now staff the Ithaca Voice on a full-time basis.

Benjamin Torrey, a videographer who works in The Ithaca Voice’s advertising department, joined the publication in October 2015.

In November 2015, Michael Smith became a general assignment and municipal affairs reporter for The Ithaca Voice.

Additionally, Jennifer Wholey — a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism — began working as The Ithaca Voice’s food & restaurant writer last week. (You’ll begin seeing her work in the weeks ahead.)

See related: Happy birthday, Ithaca Voice! 5 highlights from our 1st year

The Ithaca Voice also relies heavily on the contributions of Brian Crandall, who has reported primarily on Ithaca housing and architecture news from our site’s inception.

The Ithaca Voice was founded in June 2014 in response to declines in staffing at local newspapers both locally and around the country.

Our mission is to report on stories that are in-depth, enlightening, engaging and — above all — local.

Reach us anytime:

Executive Director Mike Blaney | | 518-527-3812

Managing Editor Jolene Almendarez | | 907-854-3248

Reporter Mike Smith | | 607-229-0885