As Los Angeles magazine celebrates its 50th anniversary (read about their party here), L.A. Times media columnist James Rainey notes that the magazine has managed to keep its mojo - and even win some big magazine prizes -- despite a downsized staff:
The magazine today has taken on the glow of a survivor, with a recovering bottom line and a couple of big journalism prizes having just arrived in the editor's office. It has shed its fixation with the city's Westside, gotten friendlier to time-strapped readers (features tend to be shorter) and shucked the skeptical remove that reigned in the 1990s, when a couple of editors from the East Coast ascended.Rainey gives props to Franklin Avenue pal Mary Melton, the Los Angeles mag editor "who has embraced the mission of doing less with more and unashamedly attempts to present her city in its full splendor and incoherence." Rainey notes that if anyone still thinks Los Angeles magazine sports a Westside bias, Mary lives in Eagle Rock.
The resulting magazine doesn't exactly demand to be read but when it is read can provide a tasty repast.
The only thing that I'm surprised Rainey didn't mention is Los Angeles magazine's ability to still provoke. Its "Failure" cover, featuring a dour Antonio Villaraigosa, scored high marks in design circles and was most definitely the talk of the town when it came out.