Monday, April 7, 2008

April 7, 2008 News


Classical KUSC 91.5 FM's General Manager Eric DeWeese passes along (good) news about two of the nicest people in the world, Gail Eichenthal and Brian Lauritzen, both generous spotlighters of Southern California's broad arts community. According to Eric (also a nice guy!), Gail has been promoted to program director, and associate producer Brian Lauritzen has been promoted to producer. Brian takes over much of the day to day production of "Arts Alive," the weekly arts program, and many of the concert series. Congrats all around!


Ann Brenoff replaces the bought-out (bought off – what IS the past tense of it???) Ruth Ryon as writer of the LA Times' Hot Property column. LA Observed has the memo.


OC Register arts writer and dance critic Laura Bleiberg is leaving for the non-profit arts world; LA Observed has the memo.

Thanks so much to Lucy Pollak for passing on this email from Laura B:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Some of you have heard already that I am leaving the Orange County Register after 18-1/2 wonderful, challenging, fun and outrageous years as this newspaper's dance critic and arts reporter. Today is my last day. (So sorry for no notice!)

Many of you have also heard me say that being a dance critic was all I ever wanted to be. I still vividly remember my elation on the day I was hired. I had been keeping my own dance clipping file for 10 years -- I could finally put it to use. And I never anticipated that being a dance critic in Orange County, Calif., 35 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, would turn into such an amazing opportunity. I have been privileged to review some of the best in the world: Nederlands Dans Theater, Royal Danish Ballet, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group and more. It has been an honor to write about local dance and chart its ups and downs. It has been an honor to get to know and to work with all of you.

I leave this profession with a heavy heart. It's a dreadful time for newspaper journalists in particular. I do not know if the Register will replace me with a staff dance critic. Let's continue to advocate for the arts and for arts coverage at daily newspapers. Please let the Register editors and publisher know how important it is to you that the Register continue to report and write about dance and the arts in Orange County. The arts are the heart and soul of a community -- and they're local! The Register is all about local news.

Now for the truly great news: Beginning April 14, I will be joining the Tony Award-winning theater, South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, as Associate Director of Development for Individual Giving. I have searched my soul about what should be my next career move, and certain things were clear. I wanted to work for an arts organization. I wanted to be actively involved with like-minded people. And I wanted make a difference for the arts survival. I look forward to doing all of that at SCR.

In the meantime, please stay in touch. My personal e-mail is: xxxxxxx. I'll see you at the theater! Best to all, Laura


Thanks also to Lucy Pollak for passing long the news that Jenny Johnson has replaced Melanie Kirschenbaum as calendar editor at Venice Magazine.


From LA Observed on Friday:

Steve Lowery reported as editor in chief on Monday, put out his first issue of CityBeat on Thursday, then tendered his resignation. "I felt horrible when I called them. They were nothing but kind and wonderful," he tells me. But Lowery, 46, says the weekly is planning to reinvent itself over the new few months and he wasn't up for the grind, after having recently helped launch the District Weekly in Long Beach and, before that, the OC Weekly. "It's purely personal," Lowery said. "When I got there, it became immediately apparent that I just didn't have it in body and my soul were telling me, hey bud, maybe it's time." Publisher Charles Gerencser told me that "no resignation has been accepted" and that nothing will be official until Monday. There's talk that Rebecca Schoenkopf, who came with Lowery this week, may be elevated to acting editor.


Shopping blog Racked LA recently launched and covers shopping, neighborhood stores and the retail scene of Los Angeles. The blog was introduced as a West Coast counterpart to the New York shopping blog called Racked. Tasha Nita Adams (, the former associate retail and events editor, West Coast for WGSN (Worth Global Style Network) edits the blog. She also has worked extensively as a freelance journalist for print and online, writing for Los Angeles Magazine, Angeleno, Variety, Women's Wear Daily, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Thrillist, and others.

Aliah Wright recently left Gannett News Service. She had served as the arts & entertainment editor there. Features editor Nichelle Smith, 703-854-5862, will be handling her duties until a replacement can be found.