In this week's Village Voice, the recently laid off Nat Hentoff bids farewell with a column that touches on his time at the paper and his journalistic influences. "I came here in 1958 because I wanted a place where I could writer freely on anything I cared about," he writes. "There was no pay at first, but the Voice turned out to be a hell of a resounding forum." On the other coast, LA Weekly veteran Marc Cooper, who was let go a few months ago, has posted what he's calling an "autopsy" of the Weekly on his website. Cooper, who first joined the paper in 1982, pulls no punches in his nearly-6,000-word piece, but the gist can be found in one of the closing paragraphs. "If there was ever a time for an aggressive, irreverent, credible metro weekly to take on the [Los Angeles Times], it's right now, right here," he writes. "That requires investment, not layoffs."

Continue ReadingTwo Alt-Weekly Vets Say Goodbye

LA Observed is reporting that the Weekly has laid off longtime editor and columnist Marc Cooper, managing editor Sharan Street, copy chief David Caplan, staff writer Matthew Fleischer, senior designer Laura Steele and assistant to the editor Pandora Young.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Lays Off A Handful of Staffers

Marc Eisen, who is currently executive editor of the Madison alt-weekly, is leaving the paper at the end of August as a part of cost-cutting measures, publisher Vince O'Hern says in a column. Eisen was editor until he moved into the executive editor spot last fall to have more time to write. He worked for Isthmus from 1978-1986, and then rejoined the paper in 1988. "These are difficult, challenging times in journalism," Eisen tells the Capital Times. "There's no one more expendable than the executive editor." The other staffer that falls victim to the cuts is 18-year veteran writer Tom Laskin. "These departures were not pleasant decisions to make and we do not relish saying goodbye to these folks. We hope to work with them again in the future," O'Hern writes. "Change can be and, in this instance, is hard. But the consequences of not changing, of not responding to the challenges of the business climate, would ultimately be harder."

Continue ReadingLongtime Editor Leaves Isthmus as Part of Cutbacks

Some adherents of the 9/11 Truth movement hit the streets in front of the paper's Hollywood office on Friday, handing out flyers, waving upside-down American flags and denouncing longtime columnist Marc Cooper. The activists took umbrage with this turn of phrase included in a recent Cooper column on Cynthia McKinney: "She was one of the first high-profile adherents of the official whack-job '9/11 Truth' movement, directly implicating the U.S. government in the staging of the attack on the Twin Towers." The Weekly has a slideshow of the protests.

Continue Reading9/11 Truth Activists Picket L.A. Weekly Office

They need to make a living but can't afford to let the conformity demanded by some day jobs sap their creative spirit. Independent Weekly's Leslie Land, Tucson Weekly's Marc Desilets and others explain the migration of musicians to the classified sales departments of alternative newsweeklies. What's the appeal? Good pay, good vibes -- altogether a decent daylight gig for a breed that Cincinnati CityBeat's Chuck Davis has dubbed "rawker-ad-hawkers."

Continue ReadingReal Musicians Have Day Jobs