Jun 29, 2009

Return of the Drex

Drex Heikes, a former editor at the Los Angeles Times and now deputy managing editor at the Pulitzer-prize winning Las Vegas Sun, will return to Southern California in August to takeover as top editor of the LA Weekly, LA Observed reported today.

From the Weekly blog:
During an 18-year career at the Los Angeles Times, Heikes served as editor of the Sunday magazine--where he directed both long-form news journalism and the coverage of local arts and culture--and as foreign affairs editor in the paper's Washington bureau. He spent the fall of 2001 in New York City supervising the Times' coverage of the World Trade Center attacks.

In 2005 Heikes was offered the number-two position at the Sun and a rare opportunity to recast the traditional afternoon daily as a magazine devoted to enterprise and analysis. Two years ago he noticed that construction workers were dying at a high rate on the Las Vegas Strip. He assigned a newly hired reporter to look into the deaths and then guided the newspaper's year-long series of stories and editorials that led to the Pulitzer.

Heikes said he is eager to invigorate LA Weekly's online content and also do the kind of print journalism that requires space and time.

"Village Voice Media publishes vital newspapers because it has upheld the vision of its founding editor, Mike Lacey," Heikes said. "Mike is a reporter at heart. His mission has never wavered. First you report, and you report hard. Then you write--and you do it as a storyteller.

"Find me another vehicle for that today.

"I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled, at this chance to lead a Los Angeles newspaper in that mold," he said.
Heikes replaces Laurie Ochoa, who was parted from her job earlier this month.

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