Los Angeles Times media critic James Rainey opined in a column last week that the recent departure of Weekly editor-in-chief Laurie Ochoa was the latest sign that the alt-weekly had "fallen far from the days it was required reading for those in the know about the city." Rainey attributed much of the decline to "bombastic" news editor Jill Stewart, saying "she pushes story lines that make some sense, with arguments that make very little." In response, Stewart says Rainey didn't bother to contact her for his "take-down attempt column," and that he also failed to mention a Weekly story she helmed that heavily critized Rainey. "I am very sad to see Jim launch a wrong-headed attack on me without disclosing that I assigned and edited a story critical of him in 2007," Stewart writes, while noting the Weekly's recent "hammering" of the Times in award competitions. "Our story about Jim was, in fact, far more extensively reported and much better sourced than his about me."

Continue ReadingMedia Critic: L.A. Weekly’s ‘Aggressive Slant Erodes Quality’

In 2001, the alt-weekly adopted a new policy eliminating "adult" ads. But after taking a glance at the Personals section of a recent issue of the Weekly, Westword's Michael Roberts thinks the paper has reversed course. Weekly publisher Stewart Sallo tells AAN News via email that Roberts is incorrect. "Boulder Weekly's policy on 'sex ads' has not changed," he says. "We discontinued our adult advertising section in 2001 and redrew the line to eliminate ads that contain images that explicitly objectify women."

Continue ReadingHas Boulder Weekly Changed its Policy on Adult Ads?

"Boulder Weekly and our brother and sister alt-weeklies," Stewart Sallo writes, "are the next generation in the evolution of the newspaper." He notes that for the Weekly, "the past two years have been a watershed period for our organization, with unprecedented growth in readership and revenue, despite the unfavorable economic conditions we have faced."

Continue ReadingPublisher Says ‘The Alt-Weekly is the Newspaper of the Future’

"It's been quite a ride at the helm of this wacky ship," writes publisher Stewart Sallo in this week's 15th-anniversary issue. "We've sailed through uncharted waters as the only weekly ever to succeed in Boulder, Colo., despite many serious obstacles throughout the years." Sallo notes that despite the "well-publicized woes of the newspaper industry," the Weekly is "riding an unprecedented wave of growth," which he largely chalks up to the purchase of the Colorado Daily by E.W. Scripps Co., which also owns another Boulder paper, the Camera. "Much like any other corporate-consolidation effort, this event created a more formidable, unified competitor for us, which caused the problem-solving minds at the Weekly to dig deeper in search of a strategy that would keep our ship sailing smoothly."

Continue ReadingBoulder Weekly Turns 15, Prints Biggest Issue Ever

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

Village Voice Media has replaced news editor Alan Mittelstaedt with political columnist Jill Stewart, LAObserved reports. Editor-in-Chief Laurie Ochoa will remain at the helm of Los Angeles' largest alternative weekly, but co-managing editor Tim Ericson has been jettisoned, along with the paper's fact-checking department, a music editor and a layout artist. Ochoa announced the changes in a Wednesday afternoon staff meeting, according to the media-watching blog.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Vet Stewart Hired as LA Weekly News Editor
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There's no shortage of evidence that Mel Gibson has an anti-Semitic agenda in his film, "The Passion of the Christ," Stewart Sallo writes. The Boulder Weekly publisher says Jews historically have been most vulnerable to Christians' acts of "revenge" during the Holy Week before Easter, when passion plays were staged. Adolph Hitler praised one such performance in Germany as a convincing portrayal of "the menace of Jewry," Sallo writes. He raises concern about the potential of Gibson's film "to generate hatred and divisiveness."

Continue ReadingPublisher Says ‘Passion’ Resurrects Libels against Jews

"New Times was a full-throated, outsized voice in a tremendously meek media town," longtime New Times LA columnist Jill Stewart writes in the LA Times. She says New Times is the only alt-weekly chain to "hit the news harder with each passing year" and charges other alties "have become increasingly soft and mired in out-of-touch 1970s-era liberal Democratic mantras."

Continue ReadingStewart Mourns Passing of New Times LA