LA Weekly won a pair of Alternative Newsweekly Awards announced Friday, for arts criticism by John Powers and photography by Max S. Gerber. The Weekly also picked up an honorable mention for cover design by Bill Smith. [ Update: Neal Pollack on the awards]
L.A. Examiner.com, meanwhile, says the new weekly papers from Southland Publishing will launch next week. Southland's plans to cover Los Angeles with separate publications, CityBeat and ValleyBeat, were announced in April after the company -- publisher of Pasadena Weekly -- acquired the news racks and other assets of the defunct New Times. [Update: The Citybeat site says publication begins June 12.]
With CityBeat and ValleyBeat, the plot thickens in the local alt-weekly domain. The new papers get to the street ahead of Dick Riordan's L.A. Examiner, and enjoy the business advantage of owning their presses. In fact, Southland printed the LA Weekly until April, when a stormy relationship ended in finger-pointing and a lawsuit (and now, new competition for the LA Weekly). An April story in the LA Weekly by Howard Blume reported the Beats intend to get by on the cheap, and one L.A. Observed correspondent who claims to know e-mails today that the weekly writer budget for each paper will top out at $800. That's a fraction of what the L.A. Weekly pays for a cover story and less than Los Angeles magazine pays writers for a single medium length article. In other words, don't expect to read many top local writers at CityBeat/ValleyBeat. [Ed.: if true...]
Editor of the two local Beats will be Steve Appleford, who edited the L.A. Reader, the free weekly that New Times bought and promptly killed to gain entry to the the Los Angeles market in 1996. Another wrinkle: Southland's Pasadena Weekly and its papers in Ventura and San Diego carry former New Timeser Jill Stewart's political column on state politics. If the Beats run her, she'll have a citywide outlet again -- that is, she will if anyone starts reading the new papers.