The following email message was sent late Friday afternoon by East Bay Express editor Stephen Buel to AAN executive director Richard Karpel. Buel was writing to correct some mistaken information that was reported by Berkeley Daily Planet and was included in a post last week on this website.
I’m writing to call your attention to several errors in the coverage that your staff relied upon to write your latest dispatch about the change in ownership of the. This is not in any way a complaint about AAN’s coverage, but rather that of the Berkeley Daily Planet.
The Daily Planet has now run three separate explanations of the new ownership of the Express and every one of them have been wrong. The actual situation is that Hal Brody and I each assembled small groups of investors who collectively each own 50 percent of the newspaper. Hal’s team consists of himself and two friends; my team consists of myself and four friends. There are eight investors in total (although currently the Daily Planet website counts 100).
Finally, I would like to make it clear within our industry that this is a very amicable transition between ourselves and Village Voice Media. As I noted in the editor’s note in which I announced the purchase to our readers, I am very proud of the time I have spent working for New Times and Village Voice Media. Under their guidance, the Express enlarged its editorial staff, professionalized its reporting, sharpened its news coverage, and tightened its writing. While we will indeed do some things differently at the new Express, it would be very unfortunate if your source’s selective quotation of my comments left anyone with the impression that I have a low regard for the company I’ve spent the last six years working for. In fact, they are the best employers I’ve ever had.
I’d appreciate it if you could find a way to share this clarification with the visitors to AAN’s web site.