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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Gierach’

Inquiring WEHOville Minds Want to Know: Is WeHo News Going Out of Business?

Thanks to a brief but complicated pre-launch history linking Henry Scott’s WEHOville.com to Ryan Gierach’s WeHo News, the gloves are always quick to come off whenever these two outlets get tangled up in the same story. The latest example involves an April 1 Gierach exclusive, WEHOville’s quick response and a subsequent WeHo News April 2-3 rebuttal.

The WeHo News articles pertain to some serious business: a West Hollywood city councilman’s alleged misuse of a credit card and Gierach’s accusations that he has been libeled by his cross-town competitor. But there’s also a more light-hearted side-note element that we had to share.

According to Gierach, Scott twice emailed him (in December 2012 and March 2013) to ask whether rumors of WeHo News’ demise were true and offer, generously (?), to cover this developing story. From the 4/2-3 WeHo News item:

Scott has sent WeHo News emails that stated “Rumor going around… that you are no longer publishing. True? If so, care to comment? We’d be happy to do a story…”

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The Year in Review: Ten LA Journo Feel-Good Stories

In the space of a few days this time last year, film critic Alonso Duralde went from tweeting about the vile acts of an LA arsonist, to revealing he had become a victim of carport incineration, to thanking the public at large for donations to cover the purchase of a new vehicle. As such, his experiences stand as one of the more unconventionally heartwarming news stories of 2012 involving an LA journalist.

But there were others. Here are nine more such items from this reporter’s FishbowlLA docket:

Josh Groban Serenades KCRW DJ Anne Litt
The ditty sounds as good today as it did when we first heard it.

Beverly Hills High Student Cracks Obama Press Corps
Look for this guy in the White House press conference room circa Hillary Clinton‘s second term.

KTLA Reporter Uses Old iPad to Report About New iPad
A wonderful example of field reporting iNGENUITY.

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A Changing of the West Hollywood Online Media Guard*

To the casual observer, West Hollywood might seem like a perfect fit for the Patch model. The area’s affluent residents consistently support local businesses-events and are acutely interested in “hyper-local” coverage of their community.

But there’s also a general weariness of the media outsider, something the AOL venture has painfully confronted. Compounding matters is the fact that West Hollywood Patch has so far had four different local editors. When “guest editor” James Mills most recently stepped down, he was replaced by the unusual tandem of Beverly Hills Patch LE Mary Cunningham and Patch local area associate editor Brantley Watson.

Now comes a new version of Patch, so to speak – WEHOville. Launched over the weekend, the site has a crisper design and, based on the editorial-sales staff hires by West Hollywood-residing publisher Henry Scott, some fluid short-term financing. But already, there have been hiccups.

Contentious reader comments seem to be disappearing with a little too much frequency, including at least one left in response to a Hillel Aron-contributed piece about former United Methodist Church pastor Scott Imler.* That particular article also boasts a misleading, sensational headline: “The Church vs. the Pothead Pastor.”

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WeHo News Editor Fires Back at WEHOville.com

In the comments to an item posted earlier today on FishbowlLA, Henry Scott, publisher of upcoming West Hollywood online news outlet WEHOville.com (launching next week), denied that that he had offered to buy half of WeHo News. Ryan Gierach, owner-editor of the latter Web only publication, quickly chimed in via those same comments to restate the 2012 history and challenge Scott’s assertion. He also sent us a longer statement and proof of their spring business dealings.

There’s no doubt a deal was afoot, one that was designed to award Scott a 51% controlling interest in WeHo News. In lieu of the pair’s verbal agreement  giving way to the drafting of an actual deal memo, the gloves are now officially off between West Hollywood’s longstanding online news leader and this friend turned competitive foe.

From Gierach’s emailed statement to FishbowlLA:

Attached is proof [screen shots of email correspondence] of how interested Scott was in purchasing an existing Internet business… It was two days after that last email that, in conversation with him, he made the comments I laid out in the article (although they were more specific and much more demeaning and derisive).

The comments were so offensive that I immediately went to see my therapist to hash out my feelings of betrayal and fear for the future once the rug was pulled from under me. I remain cash strapped and operating on the barest shoestring because of his decision to rescind his offer. Fortunately, there have been few times in the past seven years of operating WeHo News when I was NOT under-capitalized.

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WeHo News Publisher Susses Out Some New Competition

Ryan Gierach, owner of online publication WeHo News, has some unique insights to share about Henry Scott, the man behind WEHOville.com, a competitor scheduled to launch next week. That’s because a few months after Scott moved to West Hollywood from the east coast in October 2011, he offered to buy one half of Gierach’s publication.

Gierach writes that the two forged a “firm verbal agreement,” only to have the deal fall through in May:

Scott told Gierach that: a) he would not consider investing in a web-based news source, preferring to remain in print media; b) his own projects prevented him from committing sufficient time and energy to publishing a media outlet; c) WeHo News’ reporting failed to meet his own editorial standards; and d) if he were to take on WeHo News, he would not only want a majority position, he would push founding publisher and editor Mr. Gierach out to take a 100 percent ownership position while “possibly” offering him employment as an editor.

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Another Memorable Dorothy Lucey-Critter Episode

Our coverage yesterday of WeHo News editor Ryan Gierach’s reaction to the launch of Dorothy Lucey’s blog has turned out to be the FishbowlLA item that keeps on giving.

First came some additional email correspondence between FishbowlLA and Gierach (added as an update to the bottom of the Thursday item). Followed by a classic reminiscence from Michael Horowicz, who has known Lucey personally for a long, long time. She was a bridesmaid at his wedding, but in this case, he’s jumping back to the early 1990s when the two worked together at KCBS.

With Horowicz’s permission, here’s a cat yarn to go along with yesterday’s pooch item:

“The building, known as Columbia Square, had a terrible rodent problem. And nothing the exterminators did worked.”

“So Dorothy and a few others adopted a cat and named it KC. (When I asked her why KC, she replied, “Better than BS.” She had a point.) The cat slept in the prop room just behind the news set.”

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WeHo News Editor Thanks Dorothy Lucey for Letting Him Keep Mascot*

We should all be so lucky as to get the kind of attention Dorothy Lucey has with her first blog item. Her recollection of a Good Day LA exec’s harsh personal put-down was quickly picked up last night by LA Observed and expanded upon today by our sister site TV Spy.

Some of the blog comments rolling in are equally noteworthy. Here for example is the feedback from WeHo News editor Ryan Gierach:

Personally, I must credit you (and GDLA) with giving me the greatest gift of my life. On an October morning four years ago, you were on air petting the dog that my husband Marcus Fant and I had picked from a picture on the Net the morning before as part of your daily adoption feature. We had already named him WeHo (yes, after our city and in honor of his mascot status for my newspaper, WeHo News).

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WeHo News Loses Prospective Investor, Gains Critical Employee

A few months ago, WeHo News editor Ryan Gierach told us he was hoping to forge a business partnership with a local resident who had extensive publishing experience. Unfortunately, he informed us today that this did not come to pass. “This potential investor failed to raise the money and we parted ways,” Gierach said.

Separately however, the online publication has announced the hiring of a new vp of sales and marketing communications. Dereck Andrade (pictured) joins the operation after seven years at the helm of his own PR firm as well as some extensive journalism experience:

Mr. Andrade is the former business editor of the Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the Whittier Daily News… Andrade is also a former adjunct professor at Pasadena City College where he taught journalism and public relations.

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WeHoNews.com Editor Gets Clean and Sober

Following a sudden interruption in the publication of online newspaper WeHo News, editor Ryan Gierach (pictured) is back on the job. After posting the May 8 issue, he has further explained the reasons for his absence to LA Weekly’s Patrick Range McDonald:

“I went into a residential rehab to quit drinking and learn the skill set needed to remain sober… I not only feel better, but lost almost 10 pounds in two months — just by not drinking 16 beers a day…

West Hollywood mayor Jeff Prang, when I told him how much I’d been drinking, said, ‘Anything over 13 is a little excessive.’”

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