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'It's a bloodbath': Former LA Weekly editor on mass layoffs

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A composite image of several LA Weekly covers
Flickr user Movies in LA (Creative Commons)
A composite image of several LA Weekly covers

When Semanal Media bought LA Weekly last month, the new owners didn't reveal their identities to the staff at all.

LA Weekly has laid off nine of its 13 editorial staffers, including most of the editors.

"It's so sad," said Katherine Spiers, the now-former food editor. "It's such a loss for Los Angeles."

The LA Weekly is a Los Angeles institution that's been published since 1978. The newspaper broke the story of the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer and won a Pulitzer Prize -- all while having its finger on the pulse of the city's cultural scene.

But when the paper went up for sale last January, things changed and they haven't been the same since.

The consortium Semanal Media bought LA Weekly, but not much is known about who makes up the company. The new owner hasn't revealed him or herself to employees at all.

"It seems unbelievable how little we know," said Spiers. "It's so, so strange to not have any idea who these new people coming are, especially in journalism, where the whole idea is transparency."

Listen to why Spiers thinks LA Weekly's future is murky with most of the editorial staff gone. Click the blue audio player above.

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