"To paraphrase a paraphrase of Mark Twain, reports of my deportation have been greatly exaggerated," writes Gustavo Arellano in a blog entry. "I know I announced last Thursday that I was ending my ¡Ask a Mexican! column, but few people seemingly bothered to read the line where I stated my self-deportation was 'effective the feast day of St. Melito,' which happens to fall today. April Fools'!"

Continue Reading¡Ask a Mexican! As Extinct as Kudzu

The paper's founding editor Steve Appleford has been replaced with alt-weekly veteran Steve Lowery, who'll begin his new gig Monday. Lowery comes to CityBeat from the District Weekly, where he was senior editor. He's also been a senior and interim editor at OC Weekly, and a staffer at New Times L.A. He'll reunite at CityBeat with former OC Weekly staffer and "Commie Girl" columnist Rebecca Schoenkopf, who has been named the paper's new arts editor.

Continue ReadingLos Angeles CityBeat Names New Editor & Arts Editor

"It's been a great run, cabrones, but all the hateful email, the attacks by PC pendejos and the fact that few of you have bothered to submit video questions to my YouTube channel wear on a guy," writes OC Weekly scribe Gustavo Arellano in this week's farewell column. The four-year-old award-winning column had also spawned a book, and caused many a stir in communities around the country when alt-weeklies began running it. Arellano, who is hosting the AltWeekly Awards luncheon at this year's AAN convention, says his work busting stereotypes and tweaking racial prejudices is largely done. "It's no longer necessary to explain Mexicans to Americans because Mexicans are Americans," he writes.

Continue Reading¡Ask a Mexican! Bids Adios

Rebecca Schoenkopf's collection of OC Weekly columns, titled Commie Girl in the O.C., is due out soon from Verso. She tells MediaBistro that the book was a byproduct of her departure from the Weekly last year. "After two weeks, my mom called and started bitching at me and telling me I need to get a job," she says. "So I went back, and of course I didn't keep my clips, so I had to copy and paste everything from the [OC Weekly] website. I revised it a couple of times," and later got the deal with Verso, with a little help from City of Quartz author Mike Davis. "He fired off a grand e-mail for me to everyone he knows," Schoenkopf says. "And his publisher was thrilled."

Continue Reading‘Commie Girl’ Turns OC Weekly Columns into Book

The response to Ben Westhoff's "The Efron Scandal," which "revealed" that Lil' Wayne and Zac Efron were working together on High School Musical 2: Non-Stop Dance Party and that the two even shared a "full-on kiss," was enough to temporarily crash the Weekly's servers, the paper reports. But not everyone got the joke: the story was picked up as truth by outlets as diverse at VH1 and the British tabloid The Sun. "The overwhelming impression I have over the hysteria 'The Efron Scandal' has generated is that some people don't recognize comedy gold, even as it's repeatedly conking them upside their thick heads," writes Weekly music editor Dave Segal.

Continue ReadingFake OC Weekly Story ‘Gets Internet’s Panties in a Bunch’

On the heels of last week's story on a Vietnamese-language newspaper that has been become the target of an "anti-communist witch-hunt," staff writer Nick Schou's mug appeared "in a none-too-flattering cartoon" on Take2Tango.com, OC Weekly reports. "It's unclear just yet in what way Nick is supposed to be controlling Viet Weekly publisher Le Vu -- our translation of the accompanying Vietnamese text is still pending -- and I must say, that really doesn't look like Nick at all," writes editor Ted Kissell. "Except for the fountain pen for a hand. Totally accurate. I've been meaning to get one of those for myself."

Continue ReadingOC Weekly Writer Caricatured in Vietnamese-language Press

The former executive editor of OC Weekly recalls the days when, helped along by a 2002 AAN Diversity Grant, the man who'd become "The Mexican" got his start at the Weekly. "'That kid is going to be more famous than any of us some day,'" Coker, who now edits Sacramento News & Review, remembers thinking. "What did surprise me was how quickly some day came." He says Arellano's transition to "national media spokesman on all-things-Latino" was partly a function of timing ("¡Ask a Mexican!" started getting more attention as the immigration debate heated up), but also of "a lot of shameless self promotion. Not only is Arellano the most shameless of the shameless self promoters I have ever known in this business, he also is the most self-aware of his own shamelessness, which I find kind of cute." Apparently, not everyone at OC Weekly agreed with Coker: he reports that there was plenty of jealousy of Arellano's fame -- and his six-figure book deal -- in the newsroom as well.

Continue ReadingMatt Coker: Gustavo Arellano’s Fame ‘Doesn’t Surprise Me a Lick’

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