AAN News

More OC Weekly Staffers On the Way Outnew

Steve Lowery, who was acting as interim editor in the wake of Will Swaim's departure, announced today that he is leaving the paper effective immediately, according to a farewell e-mail obtained by LA Observed. Effective March 23, OC Weekly will also be without Features Editor Theo Douglas, who gave his two weeks' notice today. In addition, OC Blog reports that two production staffers are leaving.
LA Observed  |  03-09-2007  5:42 pm  |  Industry News

OC Weekly Continues to Remake Mastheadnew

The Stranger reports that Dave Segal, who has been with the Seattle alt-weekly since 2004, was hired yesterday as music editor of OC Weekly. Segal replaces Chris Ziegler, who left the Village Voice Media paper last month. The Southland alt-weekly also hired freelance film reviewer Luke Y. Thompson as a staff writer, according to Thompson's own blog. And OC Weekly's former feature editor and "Commie Girl" columnist Rebecca Schoenkopf writes that the paper recently lost managing editor Ellen Griley and staff writer Dave Wielenga. She broke the news in the comments section of the Boston Phoenix's recent story on VVM.
The Stranger | LYT's Weblog  |  03-07-2007  12:08 pm  |  Industry News

More Edit-Staff Departures at Village Voice Media

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.)
OC Register | OC Weekly | St. Paul Pioneer Press  |  02-01-2007  9:23 pm  |  Industry News

'Ask a Mexican!' Kerfuffle Leaves Employee 'Feeling Leery and Hurt'new

Late last year, Richard Diefenbach was suspended from his job in Newport, Ore., for five days without pay, and accused of racial discrimination and sexual harassment for sharing a copy of Gustavo Arellano's politically incorrect syndicated column with a co-worker. Diefenbach tells The Oregonian that the incident had a deleterious impact. "I have to weigh everything twice before I say it now," he says. "I felt like my organization branded me as something I am not, a racist and a sexist -- a horrible person." Arellano says "Ask a Mexican!" is now syndicated in 21 weeklies with a combined readership of 1.3 million. CORRECTION: Arellano tells us his column is syndicated in papers with a combined circulation (i.e., not readership) of 1.3 million.
The Oregonian  |  01-30-2007  2:33 pm  |  Industry News

Founding Editor of OC Weekly Steps Downnew

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.
Los Angeles Times  |  01-26-2007  4:03 pm  |  Industry News

Man Suspended From Work for Sharing 'Ask a Mexican'new

Richard Diefenbach read Gustavo Arellano's syndicated column for the first time in the Weekly Alibi, while on vacation in Albuquerque. He was so enthused with the column -- which that week addressed readers' questions about "the Mexican love affair with chicken and similarities between Mexicans and the Irish," according to Arellano -- that when he returned to work in his hometown of Newport, Ore., he printed a copy and gave it to a Mexican-American co-worker. The following day Diefenbach was suspended from work for five days without pay, accused of racial discrimination and sexual harassment.
OC Weekly  |  01-09-2007  5:13 pm  |  Industry News

NPR Picks Up OC Weekly Story Questioning Philanthropistnew

"All Things Considered" reporter Howard Berkes last week broadcast a segment based on a story by OC Weekly writer Gustavo Arellano that questioned the motives of local charity "Snowball Express," which brings the families of Iraq war casualties to Disneyland. Arellano found that the charity's organizer, Michael Scott Kerr, owes about $50,000 in child support in Arizona, where there is an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
National Public Radio  |  12-18-2006  12:41 pm  |  Industry News

Wheelchair Defender Cries Foul Over OC Weekly Piecenew

After the weekly ran an Oct. 12 cover story about a wheelchair-bound man who filed more than 200 onerous lawsuits against small businesses failing to meet accessibility standards for the disabled, a lawyer for the profile subject has lashed back. Marc E. Angelucci, a Los Angeles attorney who represents David Allen Gunther, calls R. Scott Moxley's investigative article
"one-sided, sensationalistic opinion-disguised-as-news," in a post on the OC Weekly staff blog.
The Blotter  |  10-17-2006  8:46 am  |  Industry News

¡Ask a Mexican!, Just Not in Spanish

"It's troubling ... to know that some people actually get upset when a U.S.-born-and-bred Latino isn't fully fluent in Spanish," Gustavo Arellano writes in a Los Angeles Times editorial published Monday. Arellano is a reporter for OC Weekly and the author of the controversial syndicated ¡Ask a Mexican! column. He explains that his parents taught him a rural Mexican dialect, which became "mangled" after he attended a public school where he only spoke English. The criticism of Arellano's Spanish intensified after a June appearance on The Colbert Report, but he swears he doesn't care: "I'm an English-language columnist; it's my job to help Americans understand Mexicans, not to write the next Don Quixote."
08-31-2006  8:12 am  |  Industry News

Stephen Colbert 'Asks a Mexican'

We're a little slow in posting this, but OC Weekly's Guastavo Arellano -- who just won a first-place AltWeekly Award for his column -- was the guest on Monday's episode of The Colbert Report (available for download on iTunes). Colbert initially called the column "Ask THE Mexican," and according to Arellano's blog post, also mispronounced his name, but the two still managed to discuss topics ranging from immigration to little people. Arellano tried to provide a legitimate Aztec cultural background on the latter topic, but Colbert evidently thought the explanation was too sophisticated so he interrupted, asking, "Are you speaking Spanish right now?"
06-23-2006  7:04 pm  |  Industry News

Rival Calls for Sheriff's Resignation After OC Weekly Story

An OC Weekly article published Wednesday includes photographs of county Sheriff Mike Carona with a strip-club boss whom "the FBI calls a mob associate," according to the Weekly. Carona also swore in as a reserve deputy at least one other man whom the Weekly alleges has mafia ties. Ralph Martin, who hopes to unseat Carona in this year's election, held a news conference yesterday calling for Carona's resignation in light of the story and photographs, according to the Los Angeles Times. (The L.A. Times story conspicuously avoids the words "mafia" or "mob.") An update posted to the OC Weekly Web site yesterday quotes Martin as saying, "This is unacceptable behavior. We can't allow our law enforcement personnel to be associated with known criminals or criminal associates."
04-28-2006  10:23 am  |  Industry News

'Ask a Mexican' Writer: Column Is 'Meant To Be Inflammatory'

"Ask a Mexican" is "an indictment of the American mind and how it, for whatever reason, cannot accept Mexicans ever becoming Americans," OC Weekly columnist Gustavo Arellano said in an interview with NPR's On the Media last Friday. "The fact that this column exists truly is a joke, and the fact that I have to answer these questions is ridiculous. That said, I will answer these questions to confront all of those stereotypes and really the pitiful nature of the American mind that cannot accept Mexicans being in this country." Arellano also criticized other Mexican and Latino members of the media for focusing on positive stereotypes, which he called "a disservice to Mexican or Latino society or culture."
04-06-2006  12:11 pm  |  Industry News

OC Weekly Editor: I Remember Buddy for His Honestynew

"I don’t know what to say beyond the kinds of things you find in Hallmark condolence cards," Will Swaim writes on The Blotter, OC Weekly's staff blog, about music columnist Buddy "Blue" Seigal's death on Sunday. Some readers objected to Seigal's scatalogical or genital-focused humor; Swaim quotes one as saying, "I think Buddy Seigal’s article about fun things to do with the scrotum is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever read, and so do all the friends I e-mailed it to.” Other OC Weekly staffers share their favorite stories about the "crusty sonofabitch with a heart of gold" in the comments section.
OC Weekly  |  04-04-2006  1:36 pm  | 

OC Weekly Music Columnist Dies

Bernard Seigal, a.k.a. Buddy Blue, passed away Sunday afternoon. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, his death "was ruled 'sudden and unexpected' by the county Medical Examiner's Office" and an autopsy is pending. In addition to writing music criticism for OC Weekly and other outlets, the 48-year-old Seigal was a founding member of musical group the Beat Farmers. An L.A. Times obituary quotes OC Weekly Editor Will Swaim praising Seigal as "a gentleman." "You were able to politely disagree with him on any topic -- until it came to music," Swaim said.
04-03-2006  12:21 pm  |  Industry News