The last time CityBeat underwent a major redesign was February 2006, when we switched from a newsprint cover to a glossy. It's time for another. Next week, on Aug. 17—four days shy of our ninth anniversary—we'll present a new cover logo, a new look throughout the paper and some changes in content.
The new design is largely the vision of art director Adam Vieyra—with help from production manager Mike Pekonen—who responded to my vague direction to produce something more fun and bold than what we've been doing. Big thanks to them—a redesign is a lot of work.
As for content, here are the major changes:
• We've asked columnist D.A. Kolodenko to refocus his attention on San Diego culture, past and present. His new biweekly column, “Inside the Whale's Vagina” (obviously a nod to one of the funnier scenes in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) will begin on Aug. 24.
• Rotating with Kolodenko will be Enrique Limón, whose weekly feature, “The Enrique Experience,” is being moved out of the old “Nightgeist” section and expanded, giving him a chance to spread his magnificent gay, Mexican wings.
• Speaking of Nightgeist, we've blown it up. Its “Locals Only” segment, by music editor Peter Holslin, has been renamed “Notes from the Smoking Patio,” expanded and moved into the music section where it belongs. And Nightgeist's other nightlife features have been moved back a few pages to jazz up our clubs listings.
• We've also blown up the “City Week” events page to make room for new content. We'll still choose three event picks and call them “The Short List.”
• Additional event recommendations will appear weekly in a new feature called “Seen Local,” which will be a mix of previews, reviews and news from the arts-and-culture scene, curated by arts editor Kinsee Morlan.
• Clea Hantman's “Urban Scout” shopping column will be given a bit more room to breathe, and it'll rotate with two new features, a books column by longtime CityBeat music writer and literary enthusiast Jim Ruland called “The Floating Library” and an alternative-sports page we're calling “Far Afield.”
• There will be some new folks in “Food & Drink” (the new name for “City Eat”). Food blogger Amy T. Granite will write mostly about late-night eating and holes-in-the-walls and will rotate with blogger Marie Tran-McCaslin. They'll replace our “Nibbles” feature, which was reliably compiled by Brook Larios, whose contributions during the past year we very much appreciate (see her final piece on here).
• We also bid a kind and beyond-words-appreciative farewell to Martin Jones Westlin as our longtime theater editor. CityBeat wasn't even a glint in our owner's eye when I started working with Marty back in 1999, when I was the editor of the Ventura County Reporter and he came to me as a freelance feature writer. He joined my full-time staff as a news writer in 2000 and later became my second-in-command (he, Kelly Davis and I all worked together in Ventura). Marty followed Kelly and me to San Diego in 2003, about a year after we launched CityBeat, to write about theater for us. I know of no one who knows more about theater than Marty (I was a theater minor in college and acted on the stage sporadically from ages 14 to 36, so I've been around a lot of stage people). Marty's the most dependable writer with whom I've ever worked, and he's one of the most conscientious people I know. It'll be strange not receiving his copy once a week. (See his final pieces here and here.) I wish Marty, my longtime friend and colleague, nothing but the best and thank him immeasurably for his loyalty.
• Taking over for Marty as our theater writer is David Coddon, who's well-known in San Diego for his 25 years at the San Diego Union- Tribune, the final 17 of which were spent covering arts and entertainment (and who critiqued, in print, my first-ever editor's note nine years ago!). We're proud to have him on the team.
It's a terribly tough time for print publications, and since no one offered me additional pages for new content, we've had to trim a little here and trim a little there. I hope that you think we've made wise decisions and that you like our new look. And, I'll just take this chance to thank my staff (Kelly, Kinsee, Dave, Peter and Alex) and our contributors for their incredible work. Ed, Anders, Seth, Aaryn, D.A., John, Enrique, Jenny, Ian, Clea, AnnaMaria, Dryw, Sasha, Sammi and Carissa, Turbo and everyone else: I wouldn't have a paper without them.
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