LA Weekly music editor Ben Westhoff has been promoted by the paper’s parent company to the position of senior music editor, and will now be in charge of music coverage for all 13 of the Village Voice Media’s alternative newsweeklies. He tells FishbowlLA, “My primary responsibilities are still as LA Weekly music editor.”
Westhoff also responded to David Carr’s suggestion that he had something to do with the recent departure of Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston:
My responsibilities do not include hiring/firing, so I didn’t fire Maura. I wouldn’t say there was a power struggle, and overall I admired her writing.
Westhoff has a long history with Village Voice Media papers. He got his start in journalism as a freelance writer with the SF Weekly, and later went on to become a staff writer at the Riverfront Times in St. Louis. He has also written for numerous other media outlets including for Village Voice, Spin, New York Observer, Pitchfork, and NPR. Last year he published a book about the southern rap phenomenon, entitled Dirty South: OutKast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop.