Steve Erickson. Widely regarded as a definitive Los Angeles voice in fiction, Erickson had the unusual experience of being the subject of a Weekly cover story and then later getting hired by the paper. From 1989 to 1993, he was arts editor and film editor, and also wrote about culture, politics and film. Fondly recalls covers stories on Philip K. Dick, post-communist Berlin and the inauguration of Bill Clinton. His pre- and post-Weekly novels include Rubicon Beach, Amnesiascope and The Sea Came in at Midnight. Our Ecstatic Days will be published by Simon & Schuster in January 2005. He’s also published a book about American politics and culture, American Nomad(1997). Currently works as film critic for Los Angelesmagazine and edits Black Clock, a national literary journal (based at CalArts — where he teaches writing), which will debut in March.
Janet Fitch. A Weekly typesetter in its early days, she’s seen her second novel, White Oleander, become a hot topic and a best-seller, and, in 2002, a movie. "I was a typesetter for the Weekly in 1980 when it was still at Sunset and Western," she said recently. "It was a good job — supported my fiction habit. I worked afternoons at first, and moved to the night shift, 9 to 3 in the morning. Typesetting was great, creative; you worked sitting down, and you got to read the articles first, like Mikal Gilmore and the Rockie Horoscope. The type room was the only place in the building that was air-conditioned (because of the equipment), so people came in and hung out. At the time, the neighborhood was hooker heaven, and I thought I was pretty tough in my punk haircut my mother called The Papillon (after Steve McQueen, not the butterfly). But one hot summer night I was waiting for the security gate to open when some hooker thrust her head right into my rolled-down window. ‘Wanna date?’ she said. It took her a moment to get that I was a girl. She took it surprisingly personally. I realized I wasn’t so tough when she started kicking my car. Bizarre stuff was always happening there. I tried to sell the Weekly some stories, but they would never let me write for them. I was production, not editorial. Production didn’t cross the line."
Lynell George. Weekly intern in 1987; staff writer from about 1989 to 1993. Noted work included two series: "Sometimes a Light Surprises: The Life of a Black Church" and "Set This Tangle Straight," a look at black independent schools, as well as her profile of Creole Los Angeles. Now a staff writer at Los Angeles Times, she’s also contributed to several published anthologies.
Mikal Gilmore. A renowned writer on music and the culture of music who was the Weekly’s music editor in the early 1980s, Gilmore is also the youngest brother of Gary Gilmore, the convicted murderer who famously sanctioned his own speedy execution. Gilmore confronted his family skeletons in his book Shot in the Heart(1994), later made into an HBO film in 2001. "For several years before Gary’s execution, I had tried to put myself at a distance from my family," he said in a past published interview. "I felt they were a bad-luck outfit and that my only hope of escape was to reject them. That worked for a while. But families have a way of catching up with us." His highly regarded Night Beat: A Shadow History of Rock and Roll covers four decades of American life and music, based on his passion for same as a rock-music critic in Rolling Stone and elsewhere.
Marc B. Haefele. A Weekly contributor in the ’80s and City Hall staff reporter from 1996 to 2002. Left the paper after a dispute with editors over whether they had the right to assign him a column topic — not the point of view, just the topic. He is now the city editor of the L.A. Alternative Press and provides radio commentary on KPCC, where he’s introduced as "the dean of City Hall reporters," a sobriquet few would challenge.
Lonnée Hamilton. Part of the Weekly universe as copy editor, assistant manager in proofreading and writer during latter 1980s through 1991. Wrote about Generation X and interviewed Jean-Bertrand Aristide before his rise to power in Haiti. Post-Weekly, got master’s in dramatic writing at NYU and worked as a copy editor at TheVillage Voice. Now an administrator at a South Pasadena elementary school with a special focus on arts education. Married to Tony Palazzo, whom she met while at the Weekly. Two kids; two dogs.
Sandra Hernandez. A staff writer from about 1994 through 1999, she devoted particular attention to issues of immigration and immigrants. Afterward, she covered politics in Venezuela for the Associated Press, and also freelanced for U.S. publications in Columbia and Venezuela. Currently a staff writer with the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida on the race and demographics team.
Pamela Klein. During her long tenure as research editor and intern-program director, Klein, a onetime intern herself, assembled a monster assembly line that trained an army of future journalists. For the most part, interns did fact-checking and freelance writing. These days, fact-checking roles have mostly passed on to paid employees. Klein combined a corporate 9-to-5 efficiency with a militant fanaticism for getting every fact right. She also threw into the mix her culturally libertine sensibilities and a love of bakelite jewelry. In 2001, she decamped with her professor husband and young daughter to the Virgin Islands. She’s finishing a novel and is soon headed off to meditate with a mystic in Chile’s Andes Mountains. The mystic thinks she had a past life as a black woman.