Jay Levin

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Jay Levin
Born1943
New York
OccupationNewspaper editor, writer, entrepreneur
 
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Jay Levin
Born1943
New York
OccupationNewspaper editor, writer, entrepreneur

Jay Levin is an American journalist who was founder and editor of the LA Weekly, one of the seminal newspapers of the weekly alternative press in the United States, from 1978 to 1991.

Early life[edit]

Jay Levin was born in New York, the son of a tool-and-die maker and a used-car salesman.[1] He worked for the New York Post and was a freelance writer until 1978, Levin was hired by Larry Flynt to edit the Los Angeles Free Press, which Flynt purchased at the end of that year.[2] Levin attempted to transform the Free Press, which had gone from a 1960s-style underground newspaper to one with a large adult advertising section, into a West Coast version of the Village Voice. Levin hired Texas writers Big Boy Medlin, Ginger Varney, and Michael Ventura, as well as Anita Hoffman (wife of then-fugitive Abbie Hoffman). (Levin's tenure at the Free Press was short, about ten weeks,[3] as Flynt’s wife Althea shut down the publication in 1978, following her husband’s shooting.)

Career[edit]

Jay Levin is best known as the founder of the LA Weekly, of which he was editor-in-chief and president for many years before selling what he had grown to be the largest and most successful city weekly in the country. Following the Free Press’ closure, Levin put together an investment group that included actor Michael Douglas, Burt Kleiner, and Pete Kameron. The publication was launched in December 1978 and the first issue featured a group of female comedians, including the then-little known Sandra Bernhard, on its cover. Subsequent issues featured exposés on the Los Angeles basin's air quality and U.S. interventionism in Central America. The LA Weekly was also notable for its early coverage of independent cinema and the Los Angeles punk rock scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Levin retained many of the writers he had brought on to the Free Press and hired Joie Davidow to edit the arts and entertainment section. Davidow produced a comprehensive calendar section and explored undiscovered fashion districts, such as Melrose Avenue, discovering new designers.

In 1985, the LA Weekly launched a glossy magazine, L.A. Style, which Davidow edited. L.A. Style was sold to American Express Publishing Co. in 1988 and merged with Buzz magazine in 1993.[4]

By 1990, the LA Weekly achieved a circulation of 165,000, making it the largest urban weekly in the US.[5]

Post-LA Weekly[edit]

Levin stepped down as president of the LA Weekly in 1992 and was succeeded by Michael Sigman as publisher and Kit Rachlis as editor. The newspaper was sold to Stern Publishing, owner of the Village Voice, in 1994; in October 2005, it was sold to the Phoenix, Arizona-based Village Voice Media. In September 2012, it was transferred to the Denver-based Voice Media Group in a management buyout.[6]

Levin founded a start-up progressive cable television channel, Planet Central TV and a website called Real Talk L.A.[7]

Recent career[edit]

For the last dozen years Levin has been teaching life mastery and helping people reorient their lives and careers and heal relationships without spending years in therapy or marriage counseling.

Over the years Levin has worked with more than 200 individuals one-on-one. Encouraged by clients, Levin three years ago began offering courses to hundreds of people in both relationships and in general Life Mastery Basics. Highly successful in terms of reorienting people’s lives and relations for the better, the courses allow individuals to learn a system they can use to benefit themselves - in effect, participants learn to become their own coaches and/or to become teachers or coaches themselves.

Levin's classes cover a broad range of life issues – including, notably and dramatically, personal relationships, career success and work, and the mastery of inner emotional and mental demons. Participants in the classes work privately on their own issues, gaining the sophisticated and necessary education in the realities of human inter-reaction and selfhood that the culture fails to provide en masse and which is sorely needed. Participants report learning tools that give them more confidence in nearly every situation and which make them better able to cope when challenged.

References[edit]

External links[edit]