Monday, June 1, 2009

June 2, 2009, News

I've been on vacation and then catching up from that, but the news stops for no man….

This yesterday from LA Observed:

LA Weekly just announced that longtime editor Laurie Ochoa is leaving. The Weekly story says it is "actively searching for Editor in Chief candidates who will continue LA Weekly's legacy of journalistic excellence while expanding its online presence." Look for speculation about Jill Stewart, the Deputy Editor who some have called a shadow editor since she was installed by Mike Lacey at Village Voice Media, the former New Times group.

Anyone need a job? The Weekly's official announcement of Ochoa's departure is here along with a note about its search for a new editor.

While I was away, I got an email from a guy who was steamed to learn from Media Moves that the LA Times had ceased delivering the monthly magazine to all its subscribers. Shortly thereafter, I checked out the May issue on the Times' web site, and it had a bunch of stuff I was interested in reading… but NOT online. So, I dropped a note to the magazine's Editor Annie Gilbar, sharing with her both of the above points. Here's her response to my question, "Who do we write to let them know that we want the magazine back in our zip code, too?"

Hi Laura

It’s such a long story. People love the magazine – and of course they are frustrated since the distribution has changed.

We are trying to figure it out.

Will let you know when we do.

Meanwhile, thanks as always


In her reply to me she cc'd Penn Jones, whose name did not ring a bell until a few days later when his departure as publisher of the monthly magazine was announced along with the suspension – after only a few weeks of life – of the LAEtcetera weekly.

LA Observed has more.

Speaking of LA Observed, as I do again and again, I felt like a real grown-up (wink) being invited to its anniversary party last Friday. Putting faces of journalists with names I've known for years was very cool, as was meeting the wonderful Kevin Roderick. Full report from LA Observed here.

I'm sure you've all heard by now that Editor Kit Rachlis and writers Steve Oney, Dave Gardetta and Jessie Katz have departed Los Angeles Magazine. Executive Editor Mary Melton is promoted to Rachlis' spot, and the three writers will apparently continue as free-lancers.

Nice for all these corporations to get rid of staffers and re-hire them for less money (read no taxes to pay, no benefits to pay, no overhead to pay). If you believe that all these layoffs (NOT just in journalism) are REALLY a result of "the economy," I've got some oceanfront property in Arizona you might want to check out.

Lots of interesting info about LA food and restaurant writers (and a photo of Colleen Dunn Bates, Jessica Gelt and Jonathan Gold) in this post by Caroline on Crack, one of my favorite bloggers.

I was very saddened to read about the death of young (34) Daily Breeze writer Vu Nguyen last month.

I had met him in April at Lennox Middle School for a story on Mary Lang, an amazing teacher who's using Shakespeare to help her equally amazing English-development students learn English. I had pitched the story related to my client, A Noise Within, the repertory theatre company, which hosts these kids when they come to the theatre to see the Shakespeare play they've been studying. A lovely guy, he really did a great job capturing how Lang influences her students and generates excitement in the classroom. He told me how he was glad to have the chance to do this type of story, as most of his education coverage was more dry board of education-type reporting. Here's his piece.

What a terrible, terrible tragedy. Life is short.

Check out arts/culture writer Julie Riggott's new web site, Culture Spot LA, which has moved from her blog ( She writes:

Our new site is bigger, bolder, and more eye-catching, and it will continue to grow and change. New features include Hot Spots -- listings of our recommendations for the hottest culture spots. We also have a featured article on an amazing exhibit at the Getty. We hope you enjoy what you read and will help us continue to cover the arts in any of the following ways:

--visit often and share your comments
--subscribe to receive emails about new posts
--add a link to on your website
--tell your friends, colleagues, members, etc. about Culture Spot LA
--become a contributor: share stories and photos
--add Editor +++ at+++ CultureSpotLA dotcom to your press release list
--inquire about advertising
--ask businesses that support arts and culture to inquire about advertising

Check this out, too: KPCC's Kitty Felde is now blogging from DC.