CityBeat reports on the Weekly

Matthew Fleischer worked at the LA Weekly for two years until being laid off and writes that "the second-largest paper in Los Angeles suffered two of the most disastrous years of any paper in Southern California." His story is in CityBeat:

After spending more than a million dollars to uproot its traditional Hollywood headquarters to move to Culver City last year, the Weekly summarily laid off or chased away most of its award-winning editorial staff and halved the size of the paper....

Taylor and Morris were the eleventh and twelfth Weekly staffers let go in the past 12 months. That followed a 2007 that saw the departure of not only Anderson but staff writers David Zahniser, Judith Lewis, Daniel Hernandez, Linda Immediato and Joshuah Bearman. From its high-water mark two years ago, the Weekly’s once formidable writing staff is now down to five.

In the interest of full disclosure, several City Beat employees have worked for VVM. I was let go from my position as an L.A. Weekly staff writer last October, in the same round of layoffs that swept up Cooper, managing editor Sharan Street, copy chief David Caplan, senior designer Laura Steele and assistant to the editor Pandora Young.

“It’s a madhouse,” says one L.A. Weekly staffer of the bare-bones operation. “People have been practically sleeping here trying to get all their work done.”


L.A. Weekly publisher Beth Sestanovich says..."We’re simply tightening our belt in response to the economic downturn,” she 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.”

There are also some juvenile quotes that New Times functionary Rick Barrs left at Marc Cooper's blog.

Also in CityBeat: Watani Stiner, the only person still in jail over the shootout that killed two Black Panthers at UCLA in 1969, recalls the scene in a first-person story.

Semi-related: Andy Klein, the film critic let go by CityBeat this week, is appreciated by Luke Y. Thompson at his blog: "If Andy can't be a full-time critic, there's no hope or future for any of us in the field."

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Weeklies stories on LA Observed:
LA Weekly's executive editor in '92 details riot coverage
When LA Weekly (did) cover the riots *
Bruce Brugmann steps down from Bay Guardian
That Dodgers buyer with the gold mines? Hahahaha
For Purim: Herman and Herman join Berman-Sherman

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