Appreciating a fallen rival

Times theater critic Charles McNulty weighs in via blog on the layoff of LA Weekly theater overseer Steven Leigh Morris:

The news that Steven Leigh Morris, long-standing theater editor of the L.A. Weekly, was laid off in this latest round of Village Voice Media slash-and-burn management, is as exasperating as it is sobering.

Yes, the newspaper industry is in freefall. And yes, the tanking economy has only exacerbated the situation. But sacking Morris — a strong incentive for picking up the Weekly — is the equivalent of destroying the village to save it. Double-think strikes again.

Morris hasn’t just been a champion for L.A. theater, big and small, spotlighted and marginalized. He is also a playwright who has approached criticism as an act of writing — one artistic sensibility bearing intelligent witness to another.

Also: At Marc Cooper's blog, his rant about the ruination of the old LA Weekly by the forces of New Times set off a heated round of comments from former staffers, plus assorted fans and enemies, including ex-New Times Los Angeles editor Rick Barrs and Zuma Dogg. Cooper also calls on the L.A. Times to print its first words on the near-total transformation of the LA Weekly in recent years: "With no prejudice, hostility, or rancor, might I now publicly and politely ask Times media reporter James Rainey and/or sometimes media columnist Tim Rutten to please take the time to do this story?"

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
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'Profitable' LA Weekly put up for sale
Malibu beach hijinx, take 256
Sue Laris puts Downtown News up for sale after 44 years
Drew Tewksbury named LA Weekly managing editor
LA Weekly's Maddaus to Variety and more media notes
OC Weekly sold to publisher Duncan McIntosh
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