Village Voice Media has replaced news editor Alan Mittelstaedt with political columnist Jill Stewart, LAObserved reports. Editor-in-Chief Laurie Ochoa will remain at the helm of Los Angeles' largest alternative weekly, but co-managing editor Tim Ericson has been jettisoned, along with the paper's fact-checking department, a music editor and a layout artist. Ochoa announced the changes in a Wednesday afternoon staff meeting, according to the media-watching blog.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Vet Stewart Hired as LA Weekly News Editor

An Oct. 26 L.A. Weekly article revisiting the circumstances of Los Angeles labor leader Miguel Contreras' May 2005 death continues to rumble through the megalopolis. First, the Los Angeles Times wasted no time in picking up the story. Now, an editorial in the Los Angeles Daily News implies the real misdeed was an on-the-scene cover-up by city heavyweights such as then-mayor James Hahn and now-mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "It once again appears the well-connected are subject to VIP justice," the unsigned editorial observes, "and that's no justice at all."

Continue ReadingAccount of L.A. Labor Leader’s Death Stirs Controversy, Charges of Cover-Up

The 20-foot-tall fence between the United States and Mexico makes good political theater. Why not a sports venue too? At least that was the bright idea of Brent Hoff, editor of Wholphin, a new DVD magazine from Dave Eggers' McSweeney's combine. Hoff took a film crew to shoot a game of international volleyball played across the border fence at Tijuana. LA Weekly writer Joshuah Bearman tagged along and even got in on the action. In its "Border Lines" column, the Wall Street Journal revisits this "first-ever game of international border volleyball."

Continue ReadingLA Weekly Account of Border Volleyball Match Highlighted in WSJ

AAN member L.A. Alternative has printed its final issue, reports online journal LAObserved. In a letter to staffers, owner Martin Albornoz says that the weekly's "problem has never been attracting loyal readers, but the cutthroat competition with our corporate rivals has made it harder to get and keep new advertisers." The newspaper was previously known as the L.A. Alternative Press; the name was shortened in Nov. 2005 when the paper shifted from a biweekly to a weekly schedule. Albornoz says that the news organization will experiment throughout October with online publishing. "The fact that we lasted this long is still a feat," he says. "In fact, it's a real testament to the authentic voice we've created together."

Continue ReadingL.A. Alternative Ceases Print Publication

The blog LAist yesterday posted an interview with L.A. Weekly Staff Writer Daniel Hernandez, who recently won the 2006 Emerging Journalist award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Before he joined the Weekly in March, Hernandez was a reporter at The Los Angeles Times -- he profiled "¡Ask a Mexican!" columnist Gustavo Arellano back in February -- but he says writing for an alt-weekly is tougher. "At The Times I was just challenging the institutional and cultural barriers of an ultimately very conservative place. That was exhausting, and not very fulfilling," Hernandez says. "At the Weekly, there's all this freedom, and that means you have to be more careful and more thoughtful."

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Writer Wishes for ‘More Young Bicultural Voices’

In 2004, L.A. Weekly Film Editor Scott Foundas was notably unimpressed by the movie Jersey Girl: "The blame for this cosmically self-indulgent disaster lies with Kevin Smith, who directs like a proud father who can't stop showing you pictures of his kids. And here's the thing: The brats are ugly," Foundas wrote. Unfortunately, Smith has a long memory, Foundas reveals in his July 19 review of Smith's latest effort, Clerks II. Foundas says he was asked to leave a press screening because Smith thought he was biased against his work. But all's well that ends well: The critic was invited to a private screening the next day after he and the filmmaker "kissed and made up.

Continue ReadingFilmmaker Kevin Smith Holds Grudge Against L.A. Weekly Critic