Like deaths of celebrities, changes at CityBeat come in threes. Well, at least this week they do. My news here is both sad and happy: Some loyal, talented journalists are leaving CityBeat, but we're very excited about the folks who're joining our team.
This issue marks the final one with Peter Holslin as music editor and Anders Wright as film editor. I know!
Anders has been with CityBeat for almost eight of our 11 years in existence, his first film review appearing in our Aug. 10, 2005, issue. We upgraded him from "contributor" to "film editor" a little more than a year later. As he writes here, he's accepted the position of film critic at another local publication that's quite different—in every possible way—from CityBeat. The news took me quite by surprise, and, frankly, I'm still processing. The great thing about Anders is that he understands why and he's giving me some time to be prickly with him about—to use a film reference—switching from the plucky rebel alliance to the evil empire. He's a dear friend, and his not being part of the CityBeat team will take some getting used to.
Just as onetime CityBeat film reviewer Sam Sokolove brought Anders to us, Anders introduced us to Glenn Heath Jr. and recommended him as his replacement. Starting next week, with a review on the blockbuster Man of Steel, Heath will be our new film writer. Born and raised in San Diego, he's had his film criticism appear in print in The L Magazine and Little White Lies, as well as online at Reverse Shot, Not Coming to a Theater Near You and Fandor. He's also the exhibitions coordinator for San Diego Latino Film Festival—a conflict that we'll need to avoid—and teaches film studies at Platt College and National University. He tweets at @MatchCuts. We're stoked to have him.
Peter Holslin, a high-school intern for us way back in our early days, became our music editor in May 2010 after a short stint as a freelancer and part-time staffer. He plans to head off to grad school next summer and, in the meantime, will simply kick it in a less-deadline-oriented fashion. Peter's just about the happy-go-luckiest human I've ever encountered, and I hope that the way he lets stuff roll off his back has rubbed off on me, if only just a little. He's the full package of decency and talent, and editing his work has been a delight—that is to say, incredibly easy. Peter's a fantastic young writer with an unlimited future ahead of him—and he's irreplaceable as a positive and enjoyable office presence. He's got some final thoughts here.
Our new music editor will be Jeff Terich, who, it so happens, wrote for a very short time in 2002 for SLAMM magazine, CityBeat's predecessor, and continued on with us for a few years until taking a long hiatus. He started a music website, Treble, in 2003 and freelanced for Mean Street, Chord, Modern Fix, ALARM, American Songwriter, Jambase and others. He was on staff at the San Diego Daily Transcript from 2008 until last week and began freelancing again for CityBeat in 2011, eventually becoming our main go-to music contributor. Signing on as a staff editor was a natural next step. He tweets as @1000TimesJeff.
Lastly, we'll have a new news writer next week— we've plucked Joshua Emerson Smith from the Merced Sun-Star, where he was a metro reporter and co-hosted a weekly news podcast. Before that, he reported for Crosscurrents KALW News in San Francisco, KCHU Public Radio in Alaska, and California Watch in Berkeley and freelanced for a handful of alt-weeklies and radio outlets. He tweets as @jemersonsmith. Smith replaces staff writer David Taube, who was with CityBeat for just a short time; I very much appreciate David's contributions.
Until the past year or so, I'd been lucky to have staffers and freelancers hang around for a good long time. But then things got turbulent with the departures of familiar faces like Kinsee Morlan, Aaryn Belfer, D.A. Kolodenko and Dave Maass, and now long-timers Wright and Holslin. For the sake of my sanity, I hope this is the end of the turnover for a while.
I wish Anders, Peter and David all the best.