Oxford American Gets Guest Editor

The Oxford American, a Southern arts and culture magazine published in Conway, announced last week that Louisiana writer and editor Alex Rawls would serve as guest editor of the magazine’s 2012 Southern music issue.

The announcement came 10 days after OA Publisher Warwick Sabin fired magazine founder and Editor Marc Smirnoff and Managing Editor Carol Ann Fitzgerald following an internal investigation.

Smirnoff has told reporters he does not know the specific reasons he and Fitzgerald were fired. Sabin declined to discuss the “personnel issue.”

Sabin took on the title of interim editor after Smirnoff and Fitzgerald departed, but he dropped it last week.

His brief run as interim editor was to assure “everyone of the stability and continuity” of the magazine, he said.

The nonprofit’s leadership plans to decide who will directly oversee The OA editorial staff by the time the Dec. 1 music issue gets published, Sabin said.

Rawls has written on music and culture in New Orleans for more than 15 years.

Besides writing about books and music for several years for Offbeat Magazine in New Orleans, Rawls has written for a variety of other publications, including Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times.

The OA music issue, which is the national magazine’s annual best-seller, will feature a package of stories about Louisiana musicians and songs and include a CD of Louisiana music.