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“Next week, on Aug. 17, four days shy of our ninth anniversary, we’ll present a new cover logo, a new look throughout the paper and some changes in content,” according to Dave Rolland at San Diego CityBeat.

Image In his column from this week’s new issue, Rolland isn’t talking about mere cosmetic changes, as with the weekly free paper's February 2006 redesign, when they switched from a newsprint cover to glossy.

Longtime theater critic Martin Jones Westlin, who began contributing in July 2003, announced his departure in this week’s column, titled “So Long, CityBeat Readers.”

“I hope to occasionally contribute here with the blessing of Dave Rolland, CityBeat’s total big man and the gentle bearer of bad news the other morning,” says Westlin, who notes having worked for Rolland over eleven years in two cities, including a stint at the Ventura County Reporter.

Westlin will be replaced by former San Diego Union-Tribune arts and entertainment columnist David Coddon, who left his previous paper after around a quarter century on the job.

Also departing is food critic Brook Larios, whose final column says “I’ve been dishing nibbles of food news to you for a year now and, like most things in life, from restaurants to relationships, this column has run its course for me and, thus, will not flex its muscles in the new version of CityBeat that will be unveiled next week.”

The food column previously known as City Eat will now carry the somewhat more generic title Food & Drink. According to Rolland, “Food blogger Amy T. Granite will write mostly about late-night eating and holes-in-the-walls and will rotate with blogger Marie Tran-McCaslin.”

San Diego CityBeat evolved from a previous local bi-weekly music publication called SLAMM, which Southland Publishing purchased from publisher Kevin Hellman in 2002.

“The new design is largely the vision of art director Adam Vieyra,” says Rolland, “with help from production manager Mike Pekonen, who responded to my vague direction to produce something more fun and bold than what we’ve been doing.”

“It’s a terribly tough time for print publications," says Rolland, "and since no one offered me additional pages for new content, we’ve had to trim a little here and trim a little there.”

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