Out of Nothing, This

An OC Weekly Time Line

4.5 million years BC

Swirling dust and crap from the Big Bang form the Earth.

2.5 million years BC

Man appears. Nothing to read.

1955

After a bunch of wars and stuff, rampant demand for something to read is finally satiated when three guys—including potty-mouthed novelist Norman Mailer—launch the Village Voice.

1960

Will Swaim is born in Los Angeles. Lacking pacifiers, the nurse hands him a poison pen to suck on.

1970

Carter Burden buys the Voice. Swaim, now in Orange County, loses the last of his baby teeth after he pokes an older kid in the eye and calls him a "bourgeois bastard."

1974

Clay Felker buys the Voice. Swaim misses the season finale of the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour as he keeps re-reading the best part of Malthus' Essay on Population.

1977

As the smash Star Wars makes motion-picture history, the inspiration for Darth Vader, Rupert Murdoch, buys the Voicein a fire sale.

1978

Jay Levin launches LA Weekly out of a rented bungalow on Sunset Boulevard. Mission Viejo High grad Swaim enters USC as part of the Young Commies for Christ student exchange program.

1985

Cat-box kingpin Leonard Stern parts with $55 million of his Hartz Mountain Co. bazillions to buy the Voice from the inspiration for Dr. Evil, Murdoch.

1988

Swaim and Nathan Callahan debut The County. Brash, muckraking and hysterical, The County is just what Orange County needs.

1989The County ceases publication. 1993

Mike Sigman is promoted to publisher of LA Weekly. His plot to start an OC Weekly is foiled when his board of directors decides to sell LA Weekly.

1994The Voice announces it will buy LA Weekly. One of the first orders of business for Voice publisher/Stern Publishing president David Schneiderman is to launch an OC Weekly. March 1995

While doodling differing variations of "Kill Me" on his notepad at Entrepreneur magazine, Swaim gets a call that will change his life: "Wanna be editor of OC Weekly?"

September 15, 1995OC Weekly is launched out of a nondescript business park near John Wayne Airport. And the crowd goes wild! June 7, 1996

Steve Lowery, who'd been with the Weekly since Issue No. 1, departs for the big bucks at the LA paper owned by Stern Publishing arch nemesis, the New Times. Fuckin' traitor.

September 6, 1996

Jim Washburn's infamous Lost in OC column that features weights swinging from his dick appears. Jealous staffers marvel at his ability to type stories while juggling oranges across the room.

September 20, 1996

A photo of Dan Quayle posing with a copy of OC Weekly runs. We were as shocked as you were.

October 11, 1996

Exhausted staffers are collapsed on the office floor by the time trucks deliver our first "Best of OC" issue.

July 25, 1997

Lowery returns to the Weekly with horror stories about the New Times. Welcome back, buddy!

October 24, 1997

Washburn writes his farewell Lost in OC column. He informs readers he's off to write a book.

January 25, 1999

National advertising in alternative newspapers reaches $50 million. Everyone at the Weekly demands a raise.

December 31, 1999

The book's done; Washburn returns.

January 2000

Saying that his children do not want to own it after him, Stern sells his alterna-paper chain for about $150 million to a Canadian investment group. Or are they Dutch? We can never keep it straight.

September 7, 2000

Exhausted staffers are collapsed on the office floor by the time trucks deliver this special fifth-anniversary issue.

 
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