LA Weekly Announces New Editor-in-Chief

Just hours after news broke that LA Weekly editor Drex Heikes was on his way out, a replacement has been named: Sarah Fenske, managing editor of the Riverfront Times in St. Louis. Both papers are owned by Village Voice Media.

Fenske, who has never worked in Los Angeles, may seem a strange choice to lead a publication that’s supposed to be on the cutting edge of LA culture. But she has a 10-year history with New Times Media, who acquired both the LA Weekly and the Village Voice Media name in 2005. The New Times has a history of promoting from within, even if that means sending employees to new cities they aren’t familiar with.

According to the LA Times, they were informed of the new hire by VVM executive editor Mike Lacey before LA Weekly‘s own staff. The company memo, which was sent to employees at 3:30, is after the jump.

Village Voice Media is pleased to announce that Sarah Fenske will become editor of LA Weekly as of October 31. Before her current role as managing editor of Riverfront Times in St. Louis, Sarah was an award-winning columnist for five-and-a-half years at Phoenix New Times. She was a three-time finalist for Arizona Journalist of the Year and won top honors for column writing from the Arizona Press Club (three times), the Clarion Awards (three times), the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (twice) and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (once). Sarah’s series about corruption at the Housing Authority of Maricopa County recently won the Livingston Award for local reporting. It was also a finalist for an IRE award.