We’ve gathered some of the online mumblings from former employees of the now-defunct paper. On his blog LA Photo, photojournalist Ted Soqui posted some of the lovely covers he’d done over the years, and wrote:
Worked with several amazing editors, writers, and designers there, and made some life long friends. LA City Beat will not fade in my memory.
Although I had problems with the way the place was run in the last year, it’s disappointing to see that L.A. can’t support two weekly newspapers. More than anything, the paper’s demise is a product of the soft economy and an advertising and media world that’s migrating online.
Was it the economy, or was it the incredibly stupid move by management to fire Steve Appleford as editor/head/writer/photographer? (Firing a guy who does almost everything, and replacing him with, for example, someone who had never been an editor before…surely not the best business plan). After Steve left, the paper never recovered. An expensive “relaunch” gave the paper cosmetic changes that were all reversed a few months later, and Rebecca Schoenkopf, whose strength as a writer is first-person pieces, became editor and wrote a cover story that was just a bullet-point piece of bits of advice her mom gave her. I grant you, I would rather read that than the OC Weekly’s umpteenth report on the Capistrano School District, but it’s still not cover-story material.
Donnell Alexander noted the demise of CityBeat on his website, and posted a story he was assigned to write for a future issue of the paper. It’s a piece for which he’s yet to be paid. His closing words:
I’ll miss CityBeat even though Southland Publishing – for whom I worked as New Angeles EIC, too – is the cheapest fucking publisher ever to employ this nigga. Runaway titlist. No company has come close.