The Weekly has assembled a special issue commemorating different periods and significant events in the paper's history. "It's safe to say that no other issue of the L.A. Weekly has ever included the writing of all four of its editors in chief," writes current editor Laurie Ochoa in her package intro. "I'm thrilled that Jay Levin, Kit Rachlis and Sue Horton agreed to be a part of this project, and as I read their three very different pieces I realize that there is one thing we all share as editors -- an audacious sense of ambition."

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Celebrates 30th Anniversary

LA Observed broke the news this week that Jill Stewart had been hired as the news editor at LA Weekly and surmised, "With Stewart around you have to wonder about [LA Weekly Editor Laurie] Ochoa's authority (and how much of her survival under New Times is connected to her marriage to award-winning Weekly food writer Jonathan Gold.)" Village Voice Media Executive Editor Michael Lacey answers: "Frankly, this is the sort of conspiratorial brilliance I’d expect from someone pushing a shopping cart loaded with all their worldly possessions … Ochoa is my editor." Lacey also praises David Zahniser's investigation of the death of labor leader Miguel Contreras, and savages columnist Harold Meyerson, who resigned from the paper earlier this week after unloading a few parting shots of his own.

Continue ReadingSpeculation About VVM’s L.A. Moves ‘Simply Silly,’ Lacey Says

As Editor in Chief of L.A. Weekly, Laurie Ochoa tries to find innovative approaches to special issues, so that "you don't feel like you're reading the same copy over and over again." Viewing the "Best of L.A." through a theme of the seven deadly sins won Ochoa and her staff a first-place AtlWeekly Award for Special Section. This is the 38th and final in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.

Continue ReadingLaurie Ochoa: Building Reader Loyalty Through Special Issues

Los Angeles Times staff writer Scott Martelle describes the fears and hopes for L.A. Weekly's role in the New Times-controlled Village Voice Media. He details the turbulent recent history of alt-weeklies in Los Angeles and speaks to several notable Angelenos. Local pol Jackie Goldberg, "a frequent target of New Times LA columnists" during New Times' previous residency in the city, says: "They were not just a gadfly, they were an assault vehicle." Martelle also speaks to a few current L.A. Weekly staff members, including editor Laurie Ochoa, and addresses speculation that Phoenix New Times editor Rick Barrs will replace her. (Barrs says that he hasn't been asked, but adds that he would "have mixed emotions about it.")

Continue ReadingLos Angeles Ponders the Future of L.A. Weekly

Los Angeles Magazine reporter R.J. Smith says the city's dominant alternative "has improved" since "smart and low-key" Laurie Ochoa took over as editor a year ago. Smith calls the paper Ochoa inherited "lucrative but dull, a cash cow in need of a prod" and says Village Voice Media CEO David Schneiderman -- who argues that "anxiety is healthy" -- is doing the prodding. "The pressure I'm putting on them is not because of investors," Schneiderman says. "It's so we don't become dinosaurs."

Continue ReadingLA Weekly Task: “Reinvent Alternative Journalism”