Sarah Fenske on Replacing Jonathan Gold

For the latest installment of Mediabistro’s weekly series “So What Do You Do…?”, I had the pleasure of conversing with LA Weekly editor-in-chief Sarah Fenske.

The Q&A delves into such topics as the LA Times paywall, the current state of her alt weekly and arguably Fenske’s biggest challenge so far – replacing Pulitzer Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold. Here’s part of what she told me about that:

“Jonathan was – and is – an incredibly beautiful writer, but he never writes negative reviews. That worked for him, wonderfully, and it still works now that he’s over at the Times. But what is the Weekly if not the alternative: the smart, edgy voice that calls bullshit? We needed someone who could be critical when it was called for, and who had no loyalties, and who was not interested in befriending the city’s chefs… We needed someone fearless.”

Fenske chose Creative Loafing’s Besha Rodell from Atlanta and in our chat, she goes on to address attempts by website Eater LA to expose her new food critic’s photo-identity. So far, those efforts have not exactly gone swimmingly.

Read the full interview with Fenske here.

Previously on FishbowlLA:
Eater LA Loses Another Besha Rodell Round
LA Weekly Adds Wine, Food Critics