More unraveling at Los Angeles magazine *

The financial crunch at Los Angeles magazine that helped nudge editor in chief Kit Rachlis to step down earlier this month has claimed three more stalwarts. Senior editors Jesse Katz, Steve Oney and Dave Gardetta are leaving the magazine, the staff was told. They were reclassified as editors recently (some say to placate the suits at Emmis headquarters in Indianapolis) but in reality they have been the backbone of the magazine's writing heft. All were brought in by Rachlis after he took over in 2000 and assembled a team of writers to go after big stories in L.A. From what I hear, Rachlis has been under pressure to emphasize service features, and this week's cuts suggest that the longer, difficult "serious" stories will be rarer. The magazine under Rachlis won its share of awards and national accolades, but the financial picture has unraveled quickly: It was just a year ago or so that the magazine was talking about having its best year ever. Seeking more details.

* OK, got some more details: But not a lot — there's reluctance at the magazine to talk on the record. I'm revising some of the analysis for now, and noting that some people around the magazine insist the financial situation at Los Angeles is no more dire than at other magazines that have lost a lot of high-end advertising dollars.

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