Washington City Paper staff writer Will Sommer has named Will Sommer as the next ombudsman of the Washington Post.
While long-form journalism's 'resurgence' may be over-hyped, technology is changing how people access it.
The District Weekly, which was launched by OC Weekly founding editor Will Swaim, owes unpaid wages and vacation pay to six former employees.
"I had a great morning today," CityBeat publisher Will Swaim told L.A. Weekly on Friday. "I came to work and hurled in the 'executive bathroom,' brushed my teeth and made the announcement." Swaim and senior editor Matt Fleischer both say there hadn't been any chatter about the paper closing in the last few weeks, and there wasn't any discussion of making CityBeat biweekly or online-only. MORE: The Los Angeles Times says the paper's closure "will -- at least temporarily -- silence more critical voices on arts and entertainment in Los Angeles."
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.
Will Swaim has been named publisher of LA CityBeat and New Angeles Magazine, effective Nov. 10. Swaim was most recently the founding editor and publisher of The District Weekly, a non-AAN weekly in Long Beach. Prior to that, he was OC Weekly's founding editor in 1995, and went on to become publisher of that paper as well, before stepping down in January 2007. At CityBeat, he'll be reunited with former Weekly colleague Rebecca Schoenkopf, who is now CityBeat's editor. "LA CityBeat and New Angeles are terrific publications," Swaim says in a release. "I'm thrilled to have this chance to use what I've learned in Orange County and Long Beach to help them reach their enormous potential."
In a letter to AAN News, ex-OC Weekly editor Will Swaim maintains that The Nation's "[Jon] Wiener did a fine job" conveying the paper's "loss ... of independence" under Village Voice Media, but claims that Wiener got at least one thing wrong. "[The article reports that] I told Jon Wiener that OC Weekly's film coverage was run out of Denver. I didn't say that," writes Swaim, now the publisher of Long Beach alt-weekly The District. MORE: In a letter to The Nation published on the OC Weekly blog, Gustavo Arellano says that "many of the overarching conclusions" reached by Wiener in the piece "are ludicrous."
Will Swaim tells the Los Angeles Times that Republican lawyers are bankrolling the new Long Beach weekly. They provided enough seed money to allow the paper to operate for nine months without turning a profit. The District, which is set to launch in April, will have an initial press run of 30,000, with a "television version" of the paper planned for this summer. Swaim, who says he "stopped taking antidepressants and decided to leave" OC Weekly this winter, has plenty of former Weekly staffers in place at The District. He tells the Times they'll all be working from home so the paper can cut the cost of office space.
Will Swaim, who resigned in January over "philosophical differences" with the alt-weekly's new owners, is starting The District, a weekly paper covering Long Beach, Orange County Business Journal reports. Swaim has heavily recruited ex-OC Weekly staffers to work at The District, including the Weekly's former art director, sales director and sales manager. Former staff writers Steve Lowery, Dave Wielenga and Theo Douglas have also migrated to The District, which launches April 11, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Meanwhile, LA Observed reports ex-staff writer Ellen Griley is also on board. For Swaim, the new location was a no-brainer. "Long Beach is the largest North American city without an independent newsweekly," he says.
Will Swaim is the second Village Voice Media editor to resign this week over "philosophical differences" with the company's new owners. OC Weekly employees tell the Los Angeles Times that they were expecting the resignation, "because it was apparent that (Swaim's) autonomy to run Orange County's only alternative newspaper had eroded since it was purchased last year by the New Times publishing chain." Swaim tells the Times that his differences with the new owners were on "the business side," and did not pertain to editorial content. "They run a very complicated organization and want to have standardization across all 18 markets," he says. "I don't argue whether it's dumb or wrong. It's just not my way." CORRECTION: VVM has papers in 17 markets.