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