When I was hired by Billboard Publications in 1993 to edit "Back Stage West," what I was initially doing was editing an small insert into the national Back Stage, which was being sold in L.A. but wasn't exactly flying off the newsstands. Clearly, if we wanted to compete with the long-entrenched Drama-Logue, we needed to start our own new actors' paper for L.A. And in Feb., 1994, I and a small, loyal staff did just that: The new Back Stage West, separate and distinct from the New York Back Stage, debuted.
In recent years (I left in 2003), the two newspapers have become more intimately entwined in their editorial content and layout, with BackStage.com as a singular online hub, but there were still two separate newsprint editions. On Oct. 16, I have it on good authority, content from East and West will merge into one national edition to be sold on both coasts; the first issue will be upwards of 60 pages.
Apart from the jam this will cause in my tiny apartment mailbox, I have some cause to lament the passing of the little paper I started, which grew to some degree of size and influence (enough to eventually acquire Drama-Logue) in its day, and which, though it will clearly continue its fine coverage in a new form, will dearly be missed in the form I've known it for nearly 15 memorable years.