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LA Weekly Faces Boycott Calls After New Conservative Owners Fire Much of Staff

New owners call for unpaid “contributors”

Last Updated: December 4, 2017 @ 9:40 AM

Journalists, readers and celebrities are calling for a boycott of LA Weekly after most of its editorial staff was fired last week following a change of media organization’s ownership.

According to a tweet by the magazine, which has now been deleted, the media organization will now depend on unpaid contributors for its content — not paid editorial staff. LA Weekly called for submissions over the weekend on Twitter. Here’s a photo of the initial tweet:

LA Weekly

Many have expressed worry over the paper’s new conservative ownership. Brian Calle, who is now running LA Weekly, told the LA Times on Friday that the key to making the the media organization relevant again is a “strong editing team,” which, according to him, is three or four editors. Five editors were laid off last week.

Steve Mehr, an attorney and new partial owner of the newspaper, called LA Weekly’s previous coverage “superficial.”

Former music editor Katie Bain called out Mehr’s observation as ironic in a tweet: “which, you know, will be really easy to do when you’re not giving your writers any f—ing money.”

She also pointed out that the former editorial team at LA Weekly was nominated for 21 LA Press Club Awards this year alone. And the newspaper brought home at least two National Arts & Entertainment Journnalism Awards from the West Coast press association on Sunday. The LA Press Club previously tweeted condolences to the paper, and at Sunday’s awards show, ignited a round of applause in honor of LA Weekly staffers in attendance.

“Let’s see how many nominations the Weekly’s new crack team of unpaid journalists can round up,” Bain said.

Music columnist Henry Rollins announced on Twitter that he is leaving the magazine.

Filmmaker and former film critic April Wolfe pointed out that Calle used to work at the Claremont Institute, whose mission statement includes “principles that will be necessary to defeat progressivism.”

Ava DuVernay retweeted a call for a boycott, saying that the only cover story about herself that brought her to tears was written by April Wolfe for LA Weekly. “It’s a beautiful voice. Let’s keep it alive,” she said.

See more reactions to LA Weekly’s new ownership below.