Jay Levin, who started the Weekly in 1978, says that RealTALK LA magazine, a monthly free glossy to debut in May, will "re-invent the concept of a city magazine." Its sister publication, Realtalkla.com, "is intended to create a new Los Angeles online community," and will be live in late April. Karen Fund, former chair and associate publisher of the Weekly, joins Levin's team as publisher and executive vice president of RealTALK Media Group, the publications' parent company.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Founder Launches Free Magazine and Web Site

After getting fired from Larry Flynt's L.A. Free Press, Jay Levin founded L.A. Weekly and put out the first issue on Dec. 7, 1978. Seed money came from several investors, including actor-producer Michael Douglas. In an interview with Kristine McKenna for the paper's 25th anniversary edition, Levin recalls the grueling early days when the L.A. Weekly was undercapitalized and then grew rapidly. The paper, now owned by Village Voice Media, had a strong emphasis on international as well as local news and was more progressive than it is today, Levin says. But rumors that the office was a hotbed of drug abuse and interoffice sex are wildly exaggerated.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Founder Recalls Its Progressive Past