LA Weekly: Wikis


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LA Weekly
Type Alternative weekly
Format Tabloid
Owner Village Voice Media
Publisher Beth Sestanovich
Editor Drex Heikes
Founded 1978
Headquarters 3861 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230
 United States
Circulation 193,714[1]
Official website

LA Weekly is a free weekly tabloid-sized newspaper (a so-called "alternative weekly") in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1978 by Editor/Publisher Jay Levin and a board of directors that included actor-producer Michael Douglas. It is currently owned by Village Voice Media (formerly New Times Media), the parent company of other major weeklies such as the New York City's Village Voice, Houston's Houston Press, San Francisco's SF Weekly, and the OC Weekly of Orange County, California. It is distributed every Thursday.

According to their website, "LA Weekly has been the premier source for award-winning coverage of Los Angeles music, arts, film, theater, culture, concerts, [and] events." The LA Weekly also recognizes outstanding small theatre productions (99 seats or less) in Los Angeles, with their annual LA Weekly Theater Awards, established in 1979.[2] Starting in 2006, LA Weekly has hosted the LA Weekly Detour Music Festival every October. The entire block surrounding Los Angeles City Hall is closed off to accommodate the festival's three stages.[3]

Some of its most famous writers are Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold. Nikki Finke, who until recently blogged about the film industry through the Weekly's Website, left in June 2009 after signing a business deal with an online firm.[4]

Although some former employees have complained about personnel moves since the Weekly's parent company's acquisition by New Times Media (which assumed the Village Voice Media name) [5], the paper has won a Pulitzer Prize, [6] and broke the story of the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer [7]. Some former employees have complained that the New Times replaced news editor Alan Mittelstaedt with Harold Meyerson, once the Weekly's political editor, charged in a departing email to Weekly staffers in 2006 that the new owners had grafted a cookie-cutter template for editorial content onto the publication.[8]

Writers once closely associated with the Weekly but let go by the paper's current management include Meyerson,[9] classical music critic Alan Rich,[10] theater critic Steven Leigh Morris,[11] film critic Ella Taylor,[12] and columnist Marc Cooper.[13] Internal cut backs have resulted in the paper eliminating the position of managing editor, letting go several staff writers and other editorial department positions, as well as cutting the entire fact checking department.[14] On June 1, 2009, the paper announced that Editor-in-Chief Laurie Ochoa, who began helming the paper in 2001 (before the New Times acquisition), was "parting ways" with the Weekly.[15] On that same day, ads for her replacement appeared on Craig's List and Though some speculated that Stewart was a shoo-in for the position[16], the job quickly went to Drex Heikes, formerly of the Los Angeles Times.

Weekly management have said staff cuts are necessary due to poor economic conditions.[17] However, some of the cuts are likely attributable to philosophical differences with the paper's current owners.[18] Former staff writer Matthew Fleischer says that "as part of the company’s 'plug-and-play' management strategy, editors, writers and ad directors were moved from city to city within the chain, without regard for local knowledge. Any old-school Village Voice Media manager who resisted the metamorphosis was denounced as a 'lefty,' a 'throwback,' and worse. They were fired or simply fled."[19]

In the Los Angeles market, LA Weekly competes against Brand X (a weekly newspaper published by the daily newspaper the Los Angeles Times and is produced by a crew that includes former LA Weekly staffers) and formerly LA CityBeat, a smaller alternative weekly newspaper owned by Southland Publishing, which ceased publication in March 2009, and also owns the Pasadena Weekly (helmed by veteran LA-area newsman Kevin Uhrich).


  1. ^ "LA Weekly". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Retrieved 2009-06-04.  
  2. ^ Awards listing at TCG online
  3. ^ La Weekly Detour
  4. ^ "MAIL.COM MEDIA CORPORATION ACQUIRES DEADLINEHOLLYWOODDAILY.COM". Deadline Hollywood Daily. Retrieved 2009-06-23.  
  5. ^ "...Stewart openly despised the Weekly. And let’s be honest: the Weekly staff openly despised her. I don’t think that is much of a secret to anyone in L.A. media circles. Putting her in the News Editor chair was like dropping a glowing load of Kryptonite onto the Weekly lunch table." "L.A. Weekly: The Autopsy Report". Retrieved 2009-01-25.  
  6. ^ {
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Anyone who spends a nano-second looking at the paper understands that New Times template is already in place, and I know from countless conversations that editorial staffers live in fear of geting the ax if they deviate from it. That's sad for the city, sad for the paper, and sad for those of you who work there and are in no financial position to leave (a position I understand very well)." "Lacey's Wednesday night massacre". Bruce Blog. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  9. ^ "MLacey's Wednesday night massacre.". Bruce Blog. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  10. ^ "Parting Shots". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  
  11. ^ "After almost 30 years, the Theater Editor position in a city with 2,000 professional plays opening every year was determined by Phoenix to be a fiscal extravagance" "Goodbye Hello, A Memo to the L.A. Theater Community". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2009-02-02.  
  12. ^ "LA Weekly Axes Critic Taylor". Variety. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  
  13. ^ "Marc Cooper, managing editor cut at LA Weekly". LA Observed. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  
  14. ^ "Marc Cooper, managing editor cut at LA Weekly". LA Observed. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  15. ^ "For Immediate Release: LA Weekly, Editor to Part Ways". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2009-06-03.  
  16. ^ "L.A. Weekly Editor Gone Now *Updated". Retrieved 2009-06-03.  
  17. ^ "'We’re simply tightening our belt in response to the economic downturn,' [L.A. Weekly publisher Beth Sestanovich] tells City Beat. 'This isn’t about banking or leveraged buyouts. It’s strictly operational. We’re sizing the business to make sure that when this downturn ends – and we don’t know when this will hit bottom – we come out strong.'"New Times: Once the best alt-weekly in the nation, ‘L.A. Weekly’ tightens its belt". LA City Beat. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  18. ^ For example, Village Voice Media executive Rick Barrs left comments on Cooper's blog stating that "your old, hippy-dippy paper has gone the way of the dinosaur. extinct. bye, bye.""L.A. Weekly: The Autopsy Report". Retrieved 2009-01-30.  
  19. ^ "New Times: Once the best alt-weekly in the nation, ‘L.A. Weekly’ tightens its belt". LA City Beat. Retrieved 2009-01-30.  

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