1. Saturday, December 26, 2020

    13 years ago i got called up to the big leagues 

    when i finished listing all my jobs (21!) someone DMed me and asked me which I was the most proud of.

    im glad they didnt call me out in public because so many people who i used to work with are my friends on IG and i would never want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

    but easily the one i am most proud of is LAist.

    maybe you woulda have to have been there to understand but LAist was the bottom of the LA blogosphere at the time – in part because they didn’t pay the editor more than $100. but all these blogs that you don’t even hear about any more, including several at the LA Times were waaaay ahead of us when i was given the gig.

    following Carolyn Kellogg was not so easy either. she’s a true pro. voracious reader. an intellect. and just straight up nice.

    so a few of the staff bailed when they saw that i was taking over.

    then there was the issue of what did i have to offer those who remained? i couldnt pay them. i couldnt even promise them that there would be an audience any time soon. and i did things so differently that some of them would predictably be upset.

    for example, even though i make fun of Team Coverage when the LA news stations send all their reporters out to cover a 1″ rain storm, i sorta like Team Coverage because no one tells the same story the same way.

    so if Beck is playing at some small venue and everyone is like, can i cover it can i cover it? i say you can all cover it, because id rather have 3 pieces on something theyre all passionate about then 100 pieces where everyones half assing it.

    PLUS a lot of time in blogging, the reader will scroll down a few posts and if they see something good they’ll click, otherwise they’ll leave the site. so if i can give you a Beck review at noon, 3pm and 6pm, odds are you’ll read one of them, whereas if theres just one at noon, you might not even see it on the page if you get in at 6pm.

    but on top of that, magic sometimes happens and out of the three articles one person might just emerge as a damn star. and sometimes that can be the person you least expect, aka the one you would have never assigned it to.

    so what did i have to offer? a chance.

    in a year and a half of breaking every rule, experimentation, love, support, and no deadlines, LAist quadrupled the LA Times’ #1 blog. a feat that was never accomplished by any other blog again after i became Blog Editor of the LA Times in late December of 2007.

    and i did it with a group of beautiful humans who i dealt with honestly and openly.

    i am so proud of that period of my life and i think about it all the time.