In crowning her as such, the New York Observer thanks the L.A. Weekly columnist "for reminding us that all good journalism comes, first and foremost, from obsession." Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily site has become the go-to source for coverage of the writers' strike, and has made this a defining moment in her career. "The biggest entertainment story of the year has also turned into the biggest story of Ms. Finke's career," the Observer reports. "She's demonstrated that one determined reporter -- with none of the support or backing of a media outfit, but also none of the entangling alliances -- can, in fact, beat the big guys at their own game."

Continue ReadingNikki Finke Named ‘Media Mensch of the Year’

The L.A. Weekly columnist's website "has supplanted traditional media as a primary source of strike news" for many, the New York Times reports. She's even been invoked in picket line chants. "Variety and The Reporter stink. We get our news from Nikki Finke," Ugly Betty writer Bill Wrubel chanted. Since the strike began, Finke has written 142 posts about it, the Times reports. She said she had worked almost around the clock for three weeks, and had fallen asleep at the computer four times. "It's been brutal, but it's also been exhilarating because I love news," she says. "I love it -- a scoop is better than sex." More on Finke from Bloomberg News.

Continue ReadingWriters’ Strike is Gold for Nikke Finke’s ‘Deadline Hollywood Daily’

"As a source of gossip, half truths, lies, slander, unfounded speculation and general lazy-ass foolishness, LA Observed remains invaluable," Village Voice Media's executive editor writes in an e-mail published on the site. "Comes the news flash that three writers have, or will soon, depart the L.A. Weekly. To LA Observed, these are not matters of opportunity but signs of darkening skies," he writes. "In a city like Los Angeles writers find books, scripts and other opportunities. At any newspaper you have the occasional clash. You might have ascertained all of the above if you ever picked up the phone and talked to the targets of your biliousness."

Continue ReadingMichael Lacey Attempts to Give LA Observed ‘A Little Perspective’

"He's leaving L.A. Weekly not because of some New Times conspiracy but because Scribner has asked him to write a book about Mexico City based on his amazing cover story from last year," OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano writes. Hernandez, who Arellano credits as "the man who made my career" with a big profile in the Los Angeles Times, writes on his blog that the book will be "about the underground, basically -- youth and subcultures."

Continue ReadingDaniel Hernandez Leaving L.A. Weekly to Write Book for Scribner

LA Observed reports the paper "is leaving its longtime physical and spiritual home on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood" to head to L.A.'s Westside. The Weekly signed a ten-year lease valued at about $7.5 million to be the only tenant in the 24,000-square-foot, three-level building, according to a related press release. "We were looking for a larger building that could house all of our employees in one facility and give them more space and amenities," publisher Beth Sestanovich says. "In addition, we now have ample parking in a covered lot, and the building will have great branding visibility from all sides. I'm confident that we'll be very happy in this new facility and that it will provide us with the type of creative space we need to continue to produce an award-winning publication."

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Set to Move Across Town Next May

Variety reports that Jailhouse Rock will be based on the true story of an "American Idol"-like singing contest held in an Arizona jail, first reported in L.A. Weekly by Joshuah Bearman. Brian Robbins (Starship Dave, Coach Carter) has been tapped to direct the film, and he will share production duties with David Klawans (Nacho Libre). "Like Coach Carter, which came from a newspaper article we read, there's nothing better than real-life drama," Robbins says. This is the second Bearman article to be optioned by Klawans, according to Variety -- the first has become Escape From Tehran, a drama Klawans is producing with George Clooney.

Continue ReadingDisney Options L.A. Weekly Article for Upcoming Film

Despite having drawn a weekly "Life is Hell" cartoon for L.A. Weekly for 20-plus years, The Simpsons creator says he's never set foot in the paper's office. "I'm sure very nice people work there, but here's the thing: I used to work at the [Los Angeles] Reader, and I noticed ... that people go crazy," he says in a wide-ranging L.A. Weekly profile. Groening then recounts how, after working for the Reader as a proofreader, paste-up artist, editor, critic and columnist, they fired him for selling his comic strip to Pasadena Weekly for $10 a week. "All I know is that the last time I showed up at a newspaper office, I got fired," Groening says.

Continue ReadingMatt Groening on His Alt-Weekly Roots

Former L.A. Weekly news editor Alan Mittelstaedt joined Los Angeles CityBeat yesterday as news editor, replacing Dean Kuipers, who moved to the Los Angeles Times. A little further down the coast, Rich Kane, who left OC Weekly in 2005 and ended up as editor of Inland Empire Weekly (a paper started by ex-OC Weekly staffer Jeremy Zachary that was later acquired by LA CityBeat-parent Southland Publishing), returns to the Weekly Aug. 2 as its new managing editor. Replacing Kane at Inland Empire is Charles Mindenhall, a former L.A. Weekly staffer.

Continue ReadingIt’s Musical Chairs at SoCal Alt-Weeklies