As the City Beat's future remains uncertain, former columnist Ryan Bradford keeps legacy alive with new newsletter

San Diego City Beat Dead.jpg

If you’ve been living under a rock (or just haven’t kept up with the latest in San Diego media drama, I guess) then you probably haven’t heard the unfortunate news –– the San Diego City Beat, or at least what we knew of it, is no more.

As the company abruptly announced a change in ownership in July, followed by an equally shocking ousting of its prolific Editor-In-Chief just a month later, it became evidently clear that the highly-acclaimed alt-weekly would be turning a new, brittle, and dead leaf. 

It became no surprise, then, that all of the City Beat’s long-running staff would also be departing from the company. With virtually no employees, much of the magazine’s editorial work was left then to…. well, the new owner’s executive editor (based out of Arizona) and Allah knows who else.

As a result, long-time columnist and City Beat’s noted humorist Ryan Bradford has taken his weekly column, ‘Well That Was Awkward,’ into his own hands and created a new newsletter to keep the legacy alive, titled ‘AwkwardSD.’

The regular newsletter, which will keep true to the format of his previous work, plans to detail all the strange, awkward, and amusing personal stories that made the original column such a popular read. And with all the happenings as a result of the City Beat fiasco, the first edition of the newsletter definitely does not disappoint.

Titled ‘So what happened at CityBeat?,’ the inaugural article finds Bradford delving into all the juicy, yet poignant details that preceded the end of an era at the magazine, including info on editor Seth Comb’s ousting, the internal arguments that took place as a result, and the harsh managerial processes that led to the dissolution of its long-time core team.

“Three years as editor, in addition to 15 years writing for the paper, and then [Seth] was just kicked to the curb,” Bradford writes in the column, “When addressing the rest of staff, Hiatt informed us that Seth’s firing was an ‘impossibly difficult decision’ and that it was a ‘purely economical decision’ and other practiced corporate nonspeak that he’d probably learned from years of dismantling things people love. Given the fact that Seth wasn’t allowed to pack up his stuff and Hiatt threatened to call the cops if he didn’t leave the premises, I wonder how ‘impossibly difficult’ his decision actually was.”

AwkwardSD and the first edition of the newsletter can be found here, along with a voluntary subscription plan that includes donation options for readers interested in supporting Bradford’s pieces –– please do.