Ted Kissell Resigns as OC Weekly Editor, to be Succeeded by Gustavo Arellano

Ted B. Kissell informed his news staff via today's copy meeting and everyone else at Orange County's favorite alternative weekly newspaper via email that he has resigned as editor of OC Weekly.

Kissell, who joined the staff weeks after founding editor Will Swaim ended his 12-year run at the helm in 2007, also announced that Gustavo Arellano will assume the editor's post "effective 5:01 p.m." this Friday, Dec. 2.

"I joined OC Weekly in 2007 under some pretty strange circumstances, unsure what kind of reception I'd get upon entering the building," Kissell writes in his email. "To my relief and delight, the paper's incredible staff was both professional and welcoming--well, except for Coker, who ran screaming to Sacramento, but hey, water under the bridge, right?"

Kissell mentioned that he's proud of the industry awards the paper he edited captured during his four and a half years here, including honors from the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards, the Best American Crime Reporting anthology, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the Maggie Awards, and the Los Angeles and Orange County press clubs.

"I'm honored to have been a part of such an exemplary band of muckrakers, and I'm even more gratified that we pulled it off during the most challenging economic times our industry has ever faced," he writes, "and while making an on-the-fly transition to being a daily online publication, as well as a weekly newspaper."

Prior to joining the Weekly, Kissell worked as an associate editor and staff writer for Miami New Times and New Times Broward-Palm Beach, South Florida publications of our overlord Village Voice Media (VVM). Kissell left Broward in 2003 after receiving a Fulbright Scholarship that allowed him to spend a year doing research in Mexico

He  ends his note by saying "the time is right" to pursue new challenges, knowing "I'm leaving the paper in good shape--and in good hands."

Actually, he ends with "Que les vaya bien" but, having run screaming to Sacramento before finishing my online Spanish class, I have no idea what the fuck that means. So, I turned to another fluent Spanish speaker--Arellano--for a translation. I believe "The Mexican" of ¡Ask a Mexican! fame misunderstood what I was asking for.

"I want to thank all the skinheads, pedophile priests, Know Nothings, and battleship tacos that made this day possible," Arellano said of taking over the editor's office. "I look forward to continuing the Weekly's mission of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable with the best damn group of writers this side of the Fortean Times. And I promise to offer our disgraced, felonious ex-sheriff Mike Carona a complimentary subscription to our rag so he can get his jollies off to our backpage ads!"

Arellano, who grew up and went to high school in Anaheim, began freelancing at the Weekly in 2001 and became a staffer upon graduating from UCLA with a master's degree in Latin American studies in 2003.

Having served as managing editor the past year and a half, Arellano will continue as editor to author his popular syndicated column, ¡Ask a Mexican!, which won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies (AAN) Award for Best Column. He'll also keep contributing to the Weekly's tasty food coverage. Indeed, he's rolled some of that knowledge into his forthcoming third book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

A press release about Arellano assuming the editorship that VVM submitted to AAN today notes that OC Weekly's new editorial chief "is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, one of whom was illegal."

On the next page is Kissell's complete email to the entire OC Weekly staff, followed the page after that by the complete press release VVM submitted to AAN:
 

Everyone --

I'm announcing my resignation as Editor of OC Weekly, effective Friday, Dec. 2. On that day, Managing Editor Gustavo Arellano will succeed me as Editor.

I joined OC Weekly in 2007 under some pretty strange circumstances, unsure what kind of reception I'd get upon entering the building. To my relief and delight, the paper's incredible staff was both professional and welcoming--well, except for Coker, who ran screaming to Sacramento, but hey, water under the bridge, right?

In the four and a half years since then, the Weekly has produced some of the best stories in its history--and some of the finest journalism I've ever had the pleasure to be  associated with. I'm not alone in this assessment: Just ask the folks at the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards, the Best American Crime Reporting anthology, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the Maggie Awards, and the Los Angeles and Orange County Press Clubs.

I'm honored to have been a part of such an exemplary band of muckrakers, and I'm even more gratified that we pulled it off 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.

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.

Que les vaya bien.

-- Ted


 
GUSTAVO ARELLANO NAMED EDITOR OF OC WEEKLY

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.


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