LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12, 2006 – The Los Angeles Times on Feb. 5 will launch West, a new Sunday magazine offering readers an eclectic, insightful and entertaining view of the many faces of California.

West magazine, which will replace the weekly Los Angeles Times Magazine, resurrects the title used by The Times for its Sunday magazine from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s.

The Times is one of the few U.S. newspapers continuing to publish a unique Sunday color magazine.

"We've found that Times readers clearly value a quality Sunday magazine," said Rick Wartzman, editor of West. "With compelling editorial content and innovative graphic design, West magazine fits that bill."

"We're aiming to capture California in the grandest sense imaginable," said Wartzman. "We'll be writing not just about California but to California – to that distinct part of every thinking Californian's self-identity."

The magazine will use voice-driven narratives, profiles, investigative reporting, bold photography and short fiction to peel away the state's complexity. "Our canvas is huge," Wartzman said. "We'll look at our dreamers and pragmatists; the factories producing high-brow culture and low-end kitsch; our mountains, deserts and coast; our endless urban sprawl; our-multi-ethnic stew; Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the nation's biggest farm state in between."

Amy Tan Named Literary Editor

Acclaimed author Amy Tan has joined West magazine as literary editor. She will be responsible for helping to solicit and select pieces for "California Story," an original work of short fiction set in the Golden State.

Tan, a native Californian, is the author of the best-selling "Saving Fish from Drowning" and "The Joy Luck Club." She also is the author of "The Hundred Secret Senses," "The Kitchen God's Wife," "The Bonesetter's Daughter," "The Opposite of Fate" and two children's books, one of which, "Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat," was developed into a popular PBS children's television series.

Tan is a member of the literary garage band, the Rock Bottom Remainders.

Bold Graphic Design, New Typography Improve Readability

The full-color weekly will feature a new typography created exclusively for West and a bold, crisp and clean look – designed by Los Angeles Times Creative Director Joseph Hutchinson – that will significantly improve content flow and pacing. The magazine's distinctive page layout will dramatically showcase eye-catching photography by Los Angeles Times and freelance photographers and illustrations by some of the best artists in the industry.

For the cover of West magazine, artist Jim Parkinson, who designed the nameplates for Esquire and Rolling Stone magazines, has created a new, modern nameplate similar to one of the versions used for the original West magazine.

Weekly Content: Six New Departments…

West will introduce six new weekly departments in the front of the book:
  • Fault Lines – The magazine's letters page will feature a one-panel cartoon by Los Angeles artist Donna Barstow, whose work has appeared in numerous magazines including Reader's Digest and the New Yorker.

  • From First & Spring: An Editor's Note – Wartzman sets the tone for West with an informal piece, riffing off one of the features in that week's issue.

  • Rearview Mirror – An elegant and intelligent spin on the old newspaper standby "Twenty-five years ago this week…," this feature will play off a particular event to showcase classic California fiction and nonfiction writing.

  • Sunday Punches – A fun page of lists, caricatures, two-word fiction, doggerel and an assortment of other light-hearted items.

  • Photo Synthesis – Contributing writer Colin Westerbeck showcases California's rich photographic history and focuses on some of the state's leading and cutting-edge photographers.

  • The Rules of Hollywood – Industry insiders – screenwriters, agents, actors, actresses lawyers, maybe even a key grip or two – will share their tales from the trenches.
…And Two Old Favorites

The magazine will retain two of its most popular features in the back of the book:
  • Crossword – Merl Reagle's crossword puzzle will remain part of the weekly mix.

  • 800 Words – The final words in the magazine will now belong to Dan Neil, Los Angeles Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. This feature on the arts and culture connects the dots as only Neil can: high and low, avant-garde and old guard, ancient and modern.