San Diego CityBeat

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San Diego CityBeat
Owner(s)Southland Publishing
HeadquartersSan Diego, California
Circulation49.750 (2011)

San Diego CityBeat is an alternative weekly newspaper in San Diego, California that focuses on local progressive politics, arts, and music. It is published every Wednesday and distributed around San Diego county, although with a focus on the city of San Diego itself, with a weekly circulation (as of January 2011) of 49,750.[1]


Southland Publishing purchased SLAMM magazine, a music biweekly, from publisher Kevin Hellman in 2002. It planned to target young, educated readers in San Diego, an audience whose needs, Southland's owners felt, were not being met by the other two major publications in San Diego, the San Diego Union Tribune and the San Diego Reader. David Rolland, a journalist and editor with more than 10 years experience, was named editor of CityBeat, while Hellman, the former publisher of SLAMM, was named the entertainment/promotions manager of the new weekly.[2] Hellman, who organizes the annual North Park Music Thing music festival and San Diego Music Awards, is the weekly's publisher.[3] CityBeat continues to sponsor the San Diego Music Awards, which was initially organized by Hellman's SLAMM magazine.[citation needed]

Rolland appeared on the Editor's Roundtable, a radio show on local public radio station, KPBS, from 2004. The addition of Rolland and other local editors to the show's guest list led Bob Kittle, then editor of the San Diego Union Tribune editorial page, and the editors of the San Diego Voice and Viewpoint and San Diego Metropolitan magazine, who until then had been the show's only panelists, to leave the show.[4][5][6]

Rolland left CityBeat in March 2015.[7][8] He was replaced by Ron Donoho, who was fired in November 2016 and replaced with Seth Combs- who was fired in August 2019.[9]

In 2013 and 2014, Kelly Davis and Dave Maass co-authored a series of stories in CityBeat on dozens of deaths in San Diego county jails between 2007 and 2012 and citing its extremely high county-jail mortality rate. In 2014 Davis and Maass won two journalism awards for this reporting: first place for investigative reporting at the Association of Alternative Newsmedia's AAN Awards, and first place for investigative/enterprise reporting in the non-daily category from the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.[10] In 2017, county attorneys subpoenaed Davis for her work, a measure that was seen as city officials stifling criticism and intimidating investigative journalism.[11]


  1. ^ "San Diego CityBeat -".
  2. ^ "SLAMM Reincarnating as San Diego CityBeat - Industry News -".
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-13. Retrieved 2011-03-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Robert P. Laurence (January 29, 2004). "Three leave `Editors Roundtable'". San Diego Union-Tribune. p. B4:7.
  5. ^ KPBS Abrogated Its Duty to Maintain Objectivity and Balance In Its Local Public Affairs Television Programing by Cancelling The Full Focus Program
  6. ^ Remebering Bob Kittle's Editor's Roundtable Tantrum
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