Changes at OC Weekly

Out with the old and in with the Mexican.  A Naval Gazing post today announced the resignation of OC Weekly’s editor Ted Kissell and his replacement, as of Friday, Gustavo Arellano. 

Kissel is pursuing other opportunities and there were no announced plans for him in the blog post, his email to staff or the news release annoucning the change.

Now that Gustavo is in charge, we’ll ask nicely for the return of all those great comics the Weekly used to run.

Here’s the press release on the change:


Village Voice Media is pleased to announce that Gustavo Arellano has been named editor-in-chief of OC Weekly.

Arellano, who has been the Weekly’s managing editor for the past year and a half, replaces VVM veteran Ted Kissell, who announced his resignation on Monday.

Kissell told the Weekly staff of his decision at the publication’s weekly copy meeting.

“I’m honored to have been part of such an exemplary band of muckrakers, and I’m even more gratified that we earned so many national, regional and local awards during the most challenging economic times our industry has ever faced, and while making an on-the-fly transition to being a daily online publication as well as a weekly newspaper,” Kissell said.

“Having helped guide the Weekly through these challenges, I now feel that the time is right for me to look for new ones. In announcing my resignation, I know that I’m leaving the paper in good shape–and in good hands.”

Prior to joining the Weekly in 2007, Kissell worked as an associate editor and staff writer for VVM’s South Florida publications, Miami New Times and New Times Broward- Palm Beach. He left the Broward paper in 2003 after receiving a Fulbright Scholarship that allowed him to spend a year doing research in Mexico.

Arellano’s association with the Weekly began in 2000, when he wrote an angry letter to the editor. He began freelancing in 2001 and became a staffer upon graduating from UCLA with a master’s degree in Latin American studies in 2003.

Widely known as the author of the popular “Ask a Mexican” column, which won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies Award for Best Column, Arellano is also the author of three books, including the forthcoming Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

Arellano received the Los Angeles Press Club’s President’s Award in 2007, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his “exceptional vision, creativity and work ethic.”

A lifelong resident of Orange County, Arellano is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, one of whom was illegal.

Of course, the Society of Professional Journalists recently announced that the organization recommends that newsrooms discontinued using the the term “illegal” in relation to immigrants and instead replaced it with the word “undocumented.”  The resolution from the 7,800-member organization earlier this fall stats that only courts can decide when and if a person has committed an illegal act.  This resolution was initially rejected by the Resolutions Committee and the SPJ now recommends the change be brought before the stylebook committee of the Associated Press.  if the change is formalized, and becomes part of the new AP Stylebook, the only place you may see the word “illegal” is in the comments section or the Letters to the Editor section of the OC Register.

As editor, Gustavo can adopt the change immediately.

  7 comments for “Changes at OC Weekly

  1. November 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Or not. And I hope he doesn’t let the change in title and responsibilities affect his brand of journalism. Gustavo is THE Mexican-American everyone, right, left, or undecided, loves to hate. Big congrats, Amigo!

  2. November 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Dan: Gracias for the post. Would LOVE to get back Red Meat, at the very least. As for the “illegal” word–wrote about it in my columna a couple of weeks back. I understand where the SPJ is coming from, but to quote Los Crudos, “Ilegal, ¿y qué?”

  3. Martin Wisckol
    November 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Dan – The story you hyperlinked states the SPJ recommendation a slightly differently than your summary: “to recommend that newsrooms discontinue using the term “illegal alien” and to reevaluate “illegal immigrant.”

    Most papers, including AP style and the Register, banned “illegal alien” years ago. However, the debate over “illegal immigrant” does seem to be growing (again).

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    November 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Gustavo – Yea! on Red Meat. Can you get “Bad Reporter” from the Chron?

    Marty – thanks for the clarity. The term “illegal” all by itself is a problem so many commenters have.

  5. henry gattis
    November 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

    gustavo should have the fellas over at the ocweekly dig into why sal tinajero took campaign money from the principals esther jones pedophile protecter over at saddleback during all his campaigns.payback in return for a little coverup maybe?come on dan publish this comment i dare you.

    • November 30, 2011 at 10:05 am

      what is this, truth or dare. Here you go Henry. Thanks for checking in.

  6. November 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Maybe Gustavo can hire former Weekly publisher Will Swaim as an assistant. Oh, that’s right, Will sort of works for Costa Mesa’s Jim Righeimer these days..

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