The day after LA Weekly experienced devastating layoffs, the magazine is asking who exactly is behind the loss of so many jobs.
In a post on the magazine’s website — titled “Who Owns L.A. Weekly?” — writer Keith Plocek asks “Who owns the publication you’re reading right now?”
Plocek says it’s a question readers should ask no matter what publication they are reading, because “it’s a good idea to know who is profiting in any situation.”
“Why? So you can make educated decisions,” he writes. Plocek didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment on the situation.
The post was published late Wednesday night, and by Thursday morning was trending on Twitter in Los Angeles.
The alt-weekly was sold last month to mystery buyer group Semanal Media, LLC. Earlier this month, Semanal appointed Brian Calle, a conservative-leaning former Opinion Editor for the Orange County Register, to manage LA Weekly’s operations. At the time, Calle told the Los Angeles Times that new ownership and management would not change LA Weekly’s editorial bent.
But after the massive layoffs Wednesday — which editor Mara Shalhoup likened it to the Red Wedding on “Game of Thrones” — the editorial department has indeed been affected.
Nine of 13 editorial staffers were laid off this week, including all five editors-including music editor Andy Hermann, arts and culture editor Gwynedd Stuart, managing editor Drew Tewksbury and food editor Katherine Spiers- and all but one staff writer.
“These new owners just laid off nine hardworking journalists. Why? For sport? To start anew? To fulfill a blood vendetta that is centuries old?” Plocek asks in his now-viral post. “Maybe they have a good reason. Maybe they don’t. We don’t know. You don’t know. No one knows but them.”
“You deserve to know” who is benefitting, Plocek said. “Who owns L.A. Weekly?”