Wonkette is introducing content partnerships for alt-weeklies looking to bulk up their national political coverage as election season heats up.
Former L.A. CityBeat editor and OC Weekly columnist Rebecca Schoenkopf is the new owner/publisher/editor of political gossip site Wonkette.
Schoenkopf gave her notice this week, according to an email obtained by LA Observed. She had been CityBeat's editor since April. It is not clear who will replace her, or if newly named publisher Will Swaim will take on double-duty as publisher and editor, as he did for a time at OC Weekly.
The "Commie Girl" columnist and former OC Weekly staffer was named editor of Los Angeles CityBeat this Spring amidst a relaunch of the paper. She says she's already receiving hate mail. One person wrote in to ask: "'Who's this inane, vulgar, rambling, trite girl who's a terrible writer and has a potty mouth'," she tells the Guardian. "And I was like, 'You live in Los Angeles, are you really that sheltered?'" Schoenkopf also says that she's now realized she willing blinded herself about notoriously conservative Orange County while she was there. "It's not the conservatism that bothers me: it's the nastiness," she says The nattering classes I'd thought were fringey were in fact the decision makers."
The paper will unveil a new design, logo and lineup of columns and features when it hits stands this week, LA Observed reports. Changes include: Content from Wonkette, a biweekly Neal Pollack column on sports, the return of editor Rebecca Schoenkopf's Commie Girl column, and a weekly news-in-review column from recently departed editor Steve Lowery. The redesign was overseen by new art director Paul Takizawa (formerly of LA Weekly), and CityBeat is throwing a celebratory party this Friday.
Steve Lowery, who reported as the new editor of Los Angeles CityBeat last Monday, resigned late last week. Publisher Charles Gerencser accepted his resignation today and named Rebecca Schoenkopf acting editor. "It's purely personal," Lowery tells LA Observed. "When I got there, it became immediately apparent that I just didn't have it in me ... my body and my soul were telling me, hey bud, maybe it's time." In an email to AAN News, Gerencser says Schoenkopf, who had just begun her tenure as the paper's arts editor last week, "is very passionate about creating a must-have; must-read newsweekly. I am looking forward to working with her on our effort to re-launch CityBeat with the June 12th edition." LA Observed is reporting the retooled paper will have "more of a magazine sensibility."
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.
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."
The latest to leave are OC Weekly feature editor Rebecca Schoenkopf, whose Commie Girl column won last year's big-paper AltWeekly Award for best political column, and City Pages music critic Jim Walsh, who served two stints at the Minneapolis alt-weekly, the latest beginning in 2003. OC Register columnist Frank Mickadeit reports that Schoenkopf has "been ready to leave the Weekly for some time, simply because she needed a change" and that "her dream job would be editor-in-chief of an alternative weekly somewhere." In her farewell column, Schoenkopf puts the paper's recent ownership change into context: "It could have been worse: Dean Singleton could have bought our newspaper. At least this way, we still get to call people twats." (OC Weekly music editor Chris Ziegler also left the paper, Schoenkopf notes in her column.)