As you likely know by now, the LA weekly is currently in a state of tumult. Shortly after the sale of LA weekly to a new entity known as Semanal, last week, Semanal's Representative Brian Calle fired nearly the entire staff of the paper. Following that, it came to light that Semanal was an entity created to purchase the paper and was owned by a group of conservative investors. For his part, Calle was the former vice-president of the Claremont institute, an organization dedicated to "defeating progressivism" and installing conservative people in places of power and influence. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Calle also stated that Dean Erwin Chemerisnky, Dean of UC Berkeley School of law, author of many legal textbooks, and generally liberal leaning academic, was considering investing in the publication.
Well, Chemerinsky is out and so are a lot of other entities including Amoeba records. The OC weekly recenty spoke to the Dean. Chemrinsky stated "[Calle] asked me to invest and I explained to him that I don't have much to invest. But I would make a small investment for him as a friend. When I did so, I knew nothing about any of the controversies that have developed. I have not yet contributed or signed anything." But then, he followed up a few hours later with: "I knew nothing about that when I spoke to Brian when I said I would invest a small amount of money…I will take this seriously into account before investing." He then finally added, "I am not going to be investing."
Meanwhile, at least five advertisers have dropped from LA Weekly, including record store titan and regular advertiser Amoeba records. Amoeba stated "Like many of you, we were surprised to hear about the major layoffs and changes at the @LAWeekly. We have pulled our sponsorship of their upcoming Sips & Sweets event and a back-page ad in Thursday's paper." See their full statement here. According to the Wrap, other investors that are pulling out include Mellow Music Group and music venue Resident. Earlier, Henry Rollins stated that he would no longer be writing for the paper, as well.
Since the firing last week, LA Weekly put out a call for free contributions promising "exposure" in lieu of paid writers. Since the firing, the publication has posted only three articles, two of which attempted to explain who the new owners are.Read more