Multiple media reports yesterday, including Tweets from former L.A. Weekly editor Mara Shalhoup, said that nine of thirteen members of the L.A. Weekly editorial staff had been let go, after sale to mysterious entity Semanal Media LLC.
“We were expecting there to be some pain with the sale of @LAWeekly. But we weren’t expecting the Red Wedding. That’s how deep the cuts are,” Shalhoup tweeted.
“The dream team—who recently earned 21 @LAPressClub nominations—has been eviscerated. Nine of 13 editorial staffers are gone, including all five editors and all but one staff writer,” she said in a subsequent tweet.
The developments come after the recent sale of L.A. Weekly to Semanal Media LLC., which until yesterday, had remained shrouded in mystery. The OC Weekly reported that an Orange County medical cannabis attorney, David Welch of DR Welch – Attorneys at Law, is registered agent for Semanal. They noted also that Welch is known for a lawsuit against 14 unregistered dispensaries located in Orange County, including Sky High Holistic Collective, filed last February.
When contacted by the OC Weekly, Welch gave a brief comment, stating that he was unable to comment on the L.A. Weekly deal until it had “gone through.” L.A. Weekly had been owned by Voice Media Group, which announced the sale in October.
Media commentary included speculation on Welch’s possible silent partners with Semanal Media LLC., and comments that the purchase of Los Angeles’ leading weekly print newspaper by cannabis-related investors may not be surprising.
Weekly publications in most major U.S. cities are often supported by advertising revenue from local marijuana dispensaries, among other local businesses.