Heikes announced to the staff and his freelance writers today that he is stepping down as editor of the LA Weekly. Here's his note:
I announced to staff this morning that I am leaving the Weekly. Friday will be my last day.
The company has known of this for some time and has been lining up a replacement. Expect an announcement soon. Those of you who I work with as freelance writers should work through Jill Stewart for the time being.
I came to this job two years ago by happy accident. I had been commuting to Las Vegas for four years but needed to return to Los Angeles because my wife and I had a baby...our first. Three days later, I went to New York for a certain awards ceremony--and my phone began ringing.
One of the calls was from Village Voice Media. The company needed an editor in LA. The offices were four miles from my house. We did the deal over the phone.
The job has been a joy. Readership of Weekly in print has risen 22 percent since 2009. Online, readership is up 36 percent. We have assembled a hell of a team of editors and writers. But I never intended the job to last forever--and I was unprepared for the offers and opportunities that continued to come my way.
Now I find myself in a position where I can afford to take a break, take my own time figuring out what I want to do next. Maybe it's here in LA. Maybe it's not...and if not, I want to take full measure of any prospective new community. The questions are: Where do we want to raise our daughter? Where do we want to be in five years?
To the writers receiving this email, I've enjoyed work with you immensely--it's been the most fun I've had in this job. Good luck. Please let me know if I can do anything to help in the future....
Editor in Chief
Heikes was the former editor of the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
* Afternoon update: Village Voice Media announced the new editor is Sarah Fenske, formerly managing editor of the chain's Riverfront Times in St. Louis and columnist at the flagship New Times in Phoenix.