Thursday, January 12, 2006

LA Times Magazine Put To Death! But...West Magazine To Rise In Its Place!,0,5263531.story?coll=la-mediacenter-releases

While I liked a lot of the writing in the Old LA Times Magazine - with the exception of the still shamelessly uncorrected fabricated quotes in the spurious Wyatt Earp article, of course - the latest LA Times Magazine - called - West - comes with some great names attached to it:

Los Angeles Times to Launch 'West' Magazine Feb. 5
Amy Tan Joins West Magazine as Literary Editor

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12, 2006 The Los Angeles Times on Feb. 5 will launch West, a new Sunday magazine offering readers an eclectic, insightful and entertaining view of the many faces of California. West magazine, which will replace the weekly Los Angeles Times Magazine, resurrects the title used by The Times for its Sunday magazine from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s.

The Times is one of the few U.S. newspapers continuing to publish a unique Sunday color magazine."We've found that Times readers clearly value a quality Sunday magazine," said Rick Wartzman, editor of West. "With compelling editorial content and innovative graphic design, West magazine fits that bill.""We're aiming to capture California in the grandest sense imaginable," said Wartzman.


Amy Tan Named Literary EditorAcclaimed author Amy Tan has joined West magazine as literary editor. She will be responsible for helping to solicit and select pieces for "California Story," an original work of short fiction set in the Golden State. Tan, a native Californian, is the author of the best-selling "Saving Fish from Drowning" and "The Joy Luck Club."

She also is the author of "The Hundred Secret Senses," "The Kitchen God's Wife," "The Bonesetter's Daughter," "The Opposite of Fate" and two children's books, one of which, "Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat," was developed into a popular PBS children's television series. Tan is a member of the literary garage band, the Rock Bottom Remainders.
(Cowboy note - they aren't half-bad! At least as literary garage bands go)

The full-color weekly will feature a new typography created exclusively for West and a bold, crisp and clean look - designed by Los Angeles Times Creative Director Joseph Hutchinson - that will significantly improve content flow and pacing. The magazine's distinctive page layout will dramatically showcase eye-catching photography by Los Angeles Times and freelance photographers and illustrations by some of the best artists in the industry.

For the cover of West magazine, artist Jim Parkinson, who designed the nameplates for Esquire and Rolling Stone magazines, has created a new, modern nameplate similar to one of the versions used for the original West magazine.

West will introduce six new weekly departments in the front of the book:

Fault Lines - The magazine's letters page will feature a one-panel cartoon by Los Angeles artist Donna Barstow, whose work has appeared in numerous magazines including Reader's Digest and the New Yorker.

From First & Spring: An Editor's Note Wartzman sets the tone for West with an informal piece, riffing off one of the features in that week's issue.

Rearview Mirror An elegant and intelligent spin on the old newspaper standby "Twenty-five years ago this week," this feature will play off a particular event to showcase classic California fiction and nonfiction writing.

Sunday Punches A fun page of lists, caricatures, two-word fiction, doggerel and an assortment of other light-hearted items.

Photo Synthesis Contributing writer Colin Westerbeck showcases California's rich photographic history and focuses on some of the state's leading and cutting-edge photographers.

The Rules of Hollywood Industry insiders - screenwriters, agents, actors, actresses lawyers, maybe even a key grip or two - will share their tales from the trenches.

The magazine will retain two of its most popular features in the back of the book:

Crossword - Merl Reagle's crossword puzzle will remain part of the weekly mix.

800 Words - The final words in the magazine will now belong to Dan Neil, Los Angeles Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. This feature on the arts and culture connects the dots as only Neil can: high and low, avant-garde and old guard, ancient and modern.

And much more at the above link.... and my only complaint would be that virtually every one of the staff writers listed elsewhere in the release ranges from left to far left. I doubt if even one of them could be described as having the beliefs of the average voter in LA, much less the state, and I seriously doubt that - even when one considers the contributing writers - that even a single one of them will be voting for Arnold next year.

They may be covering all of California, but it will only be from one exceptionally limited point of view and that - very clearly - is no accident.

True diversity - something to be avoided at all costs at the LA Times.

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