In some heart-sinking news today, SF Weekly cut some of its staff -- possibly 1/3 of it, according to the grapevine. Most notably, the Village Voice Media paper pruned such stellar talent as web editor Jake Swearingen, reporter Matt Smith, calendar editor Hiya Swanhuyser, and SFoodie's W. Blake Gray.
All four of these scribes and editors shined in unique ways for the alt-weekly. We cannot wrap our heads around letting all three, especially Smith or Swanhuyser, fly away. In addition to being at the paper for quite some time, Matt and Hiya are both excellent, excellent writers. Like, frustratingly so. So much so that they could've written the last few sentences with a modicum of grace and wit compared to our yammering. They're that good. And we're in a mild state of shock that VVM let them go, to be honest. [Disclaimer: We have known and worked with both Smith and Swanhuyser at SF Weekly from 2003 - 2007.]
SF Appeal reports: "When contacted by the Appeal, SF Weekly's editor, Tom Walsh, declined to comment nor to refer to me to anyone at VVM who could offer comment. "When we have something to say, we'll call you" he said, before hanging up, a more than understandable reaction given how unpleasant today must have been for his paper."