Just last week we noted that medical marijuana-related advertising was filling up the pages of Denver's Westword; now a medical marijuana website is calling on shops that advertise in L.A. Weekly to pull their ads. The boycott, proposed by the site WeedTRACKER, comes after the paper ran a cover story that looked at Los Angeles' inability to regulate the city's medical marijuana shops. "The person who calls for the boycott obviously wasn't pleased with what we found," Patrick Range McDonald writes, "even though the Weekly takes local politicians to task for allowing non-permitted, opportunistic pot shops to give a compassionate cause -- the legal use of medical marijuana by truly sick people -- a very public black eye."

Continue ReadingWebsite Calls for Medical Marijuana Ad Boycott Against L.A. Weekly

Last week, the USC Annenberg web publication Neon Tommy ran a lengthy piece on the future of the Weekly as new editor Drex Heikes settles in. After correcting a few factual errors, Weekly news blogger Dennis Romero turns his focus to the larger context of the piece -- the changes at the paper since it came under control of Village Voice Media in 2006. "What's seen as a reduction of the editorial department is also a changing of the guard," he writes. "While some liberals and the ex-Weekly writers who catered to them lament the loss of the paper's crusty, bell-bottom voice, we'd argue that the future here is bright -- and digital."

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Responds to Neon Tommy Story

Drex Heikes, the veteran journalist who came to the Weekly from the Las Vegas Sun this summer, tells the USC Annenberg publication Neon Tommy that he was brought in specifically to beef up the paper's reporting, and that's exactly what he will do. "We're pushing things that are very deeply reported," he says. "We want good, hard-nosed investigative work." Heikes acknowledges that the Weekly has seen some tough times in the past few years, but says he remains confident in the paper's future, in part because he's been told by VVM executive editor Michael Lacey that there won't be any more newsroom contractions (as the story notes, the Weekly is actually hiring again). "I would say, God willing, the place is going to grow and we can be judged on where we are a year from now or two years from now," Heikes says. NOTE: The Weekly points out that the Neon Tommy story has an as-of-yet uncorrected error -- the paper has five full-time editors, not three.

Continue ReadingNew L.A. Weekly Editor Talks About The Paper’s Future

Scott Foundas has been named the new associate program director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he will work on series and event programs, including the New York Film Festival. "Scott's writing is an exhilarating dialogue with artists and audiences alike," society executive director Mara Manus tells Variety. "It is this vibrancy, along with Scott's deep film knowledge, that will contribute greatly to our growing organization, ensuring we continue to offer a vital place of serious film culture." IndieWire's Anne Thompson says Foundas' move is another nail in the coffin for the "dying art" of film criticism. "As one of the best critics working today, Foundas should be anticipating a long and happy career," she writes. "He's giving it up to program movies. This should not happen."

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Film Critic and Editor Leaves for Film Society

This week's New Yorker has a profile of the Pulitzer-winning L.A. Weekly food critic that has reportedly been "almost a year in the making." While the full article is available only to subscribers, here's an interesting tidbit from an abstract on the magazine's website: "To Gold's readers, his reviews have the ontological status that the New York Times has for people interested in current events: he doesn't write about it because it is, it is because he's written about it."

Continue ReadingNew Yorker: Jonathan Gold is ‘High-Low Priest of the L.A. Food Scene’

The newly-launched free app "features over 200 concert and event listings that you can sort by date, nearby and neighborhood, plus over 1000 easy-to-search restaurant listings, including recommendations from our Pulitzer Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold," the Weekly says. In addition, the app will feature event and nightlife coverage and slideshows.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Launches iPhone App

The paper reported this morning that it has called off this year's Detour Festival. "Call it festival fatigue," music editor Randall Roberts writes. "Blame the economy, the industry, the biz, the Powers That Be, the health care system, or the glut of afternoon-into-evening music events." Roberts reports that there are rumors of "a different kind of musical event for the fall, to take place one of the city's gorgeous open-air facilities."

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Music Festival Goes ‘On Hiatus’

Music editor Randall Roberts has been named one of six journalists to receive a 2009 USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship. "This year the Fellowship will focus on the visual arts and architecture of Los Angeles, with attention paid to the challenges confronting journalists working in the digital-media era," according to a press release. The three-week program begins in November.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Editor Tapped for Arts Journalism Fellowship