Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Why the LA Weekly is a Propaganda Vehicle for Controlling the Left

" ... The Weekly and the Voice have long been run by investors who contribute to Bush, who sell pet food, not to mention having been run by Rupert Murdoch. Voice Media greed is not unexpected. That brand sells as culture product for Manhattan and Hollywood, and it's not completely absurd to speculate that, if the hot publishing trend became Boiled Negroes Monthly, they'd at least explore the option. ... "

End of an Era at the LA Weekly
posted June 27, 2007

The Weekly--a fat 200 pages, circulation 208,000, largest of any urban weekly in the West--has been a voice of the left for its nearly thirty-year history. It has been truly great among alternative weeklies, with news coverage and political writing that towered above its counterparts--including the Village Voice and the eleven metro weeklies owned by the Phoenix-based New Times chain. New Times executive editor Michael Lacey is often described as apolitical, but he has frequently declared disdain for liberals with causes. ...

... The third change, the big editorial shift to the right ...

The most dramatic example of this editorial shift came on May 1, when the LAPD rioted in MacArthur Park, attacking an immigration rights rally. Six hundred cops fired more than 100 "nonlethal" projectiles into a crowd of families and charged with clubs swinging, injuring forty-two, including several members of the mainstream media. The story made front pages around the world and dominated local news for a week. The old Weekly would have been all over it, but the next issue of the new Weekly contained one small, 330-word piece on the event while devoting six articles and 3,700 words to the Coachella music festival. ...


Ping-pong diplomacy: the new editor of the `L.A. Weekly'' is being asked to reinvent alternative journalism. (Media).(Laurie Ochoa)

Publication Date: 01-APR-02
Publication Title: Los Angeles Magazine
Format: Online - approximately 2383 words
Author: Smith, RJ


TO SPEAK OF THE CURRENT state of the L.A. Weekly, it would be wrong, and perhaps even impossible, to not first speak of Richard Nixon. Our 37th president was steeped in conservative politics, and only because of this was he able to convince the Right to recognize China.

Laurie Ochoa, the new Weekly editor, was born in Whittier, Nixon's hometown. "I saw the Nixon room in the public library built, taken out, and then reinstalled again," she jokes. And just as it took a canny right-leaning politician to face down his own extremists in order to steer America to the center, maybe it will take an editor who began her career at the left-leaning Weekly to steer the alternative newspaper in a new direction.

That is what David Schneiderman, CEO of Village Voice Media, the chain that owns the Weekly, is asking her to do. He says he wants to "reinvent alternative journalism," and that the Weekly will be key to his effort. (Full disclosure: I was on staff at the Weekly from 1990 to 1996.) Schneiderman bought New York's Village Voice, the L.A. Weekly, and five other papers (the OC Weekly, the Seattle Weekly, the Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages, the Cleveland Free Times, and the Nashville Scene) from businessman Leonard Stern in 2000, paying a reported $150 million to $160 million. It was a huge amount of money for publications labeled "scruffy," "scrappy," and the like, and since then Weekly staffers have wondered when the other Doc Marten might drop. It just did.

In the last few months the Weekly has fired its display ad manager, lost its publisher, and fired its president. Suddenly, solid profits (gross revenues exceeded $22 million last year) and a passion for the rave scene are no longer enough. Today the Weekly has to reinvent the form and contribute to a highly leveraged media company. ...

1 comment:

b.f. said...

For more information about the Village Voice Alternative Media Monopoly's hidden pre-1996 history, you might be interested in checking out the recent postings on the site