Letters from the editor: Enjoy our new weekly, Weekend

Four years ago, I pitched an idea for a weekly publication that would go to every Los Angeles Times reader in Orange County.
The bosses liked the concept, but not the timing. The company had filed for bankruptcy and didn’t want to invest.

But things eventually stabilized.

Enter Russ Newton, who in March became publisher of Times Community News, the division that publishes the Daily Pilot, the Huntington Beach Independent and the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot.

We met, and he asked if I had any new ideas.

I had an old one.

He liked it.

I dusted off the reports and, after working on the due diligence with people who understand things like finance, circulation and advertising, Russ said, “Let’s start a newspaper.”

Two months later, you’re holding (or clicking on) it.

Weekend focuses on the one or two days a week when you can step back from the digital cacophony and actually, you know, read something longer than a tweet.

Though we’ll examine issues and personalities behind the worlds of news, sports and business, the heart of this supplement, which is being published by the Daily Pilot, is the stuff readers can enjoy in their off time: arts, culture, entertainment, food, day trips.

That’s why you’re seeing a collaboration by wordsmith Michael Miller and stellar photographer Kevin Chang on the Frida Cinema on today’s cover. The Santa Ana theater’s programming is as innovative as it is independent.

We also have a mission to provide O.C. readers with a sense of place, to dismiss that tired notion that “there’s no there” here. There is.

Take Hannah Fry’s story on Midway City poultry stores, where customers can buy recently killed fowl.

Mona Shadia, who blazed a trail when she wrote a column about the Muslim American experience in O.C. for the Pilot, visited Anaheim’s Little Arabia, where diners can try kibbeh, a Syrian mainstay.

Columnist Dave Hansen went on a quest to find the geographic center of O.C. Spoiler alert: It’s not where you think it is, and yes, he triple-checked.

We know good sportswriters like Kyle Nault. He went into stoppage time writing about the Orange County Blues, an emerging professional soccer team that plays at UC Irvine.

Joe Haakenson sat down with Angels announcer Jose Mota, who described his efforts to help Latino players adjust to life in the U.S. and the big leagues.

It’s all good stuff, and more is planned.

It’s 2015 and many readers don’t do print. They can find Weekend online at, by liking the Daily Pilot on Facebook or by following @TheDaily Pilot on Twitter.

OK, I am done pitching. Enjoy Weekend and what’s left of your, um, weekend.

JOHN CANALIS is the editor for Weekend, the Daily Pilot, Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot and Huntington Beach Independent. He can be reached at (714) 966-4607 and