The predatory pricing suit against SF Weekly and Village Voice Media asserts that the Weekly sold ads below cost to push the Guardian out of business. (The suit also names former VVM property East Bay Express as a defendant.) VVM executive editor Michael Lacey thinks Bay Guardian publisher/editor Bruce Brugmann is using the Weekly as a "scapegoat" for his own problems in dealing with new challenges in print media. "[The lawsuit] is how he's hoping to maintain his business in a really tough media market," Lacey tells The San Francisco Daily Journal, a local legal publication. But Brugmann disputes this notion. "From our point of view, the fact that the economy is not good and there are other problems in this business only makes this problem more acute," he says. Jury selection is set to begin tomorrow in San Francisco County Superior Court. Legal experts tell the Daily Journal that predatory-pricing cases face different odds depending on where they are filed, adding that California superior courts are generally seen as more friendly to plaintiffs than federal courts.

Continue ReadingBay Guardian/VVM Trial Scheduled to Begin Tomorrow

In its annual list of 10 newspapers that "do it right," E&P has singled out the San Francisco Bay Guardian as "the archetype of the politically involved, locally focused alternative newspaper that's an alert and occasionally rabid watchdog." Editor/publisher Bruce Brugmann tells E&P that he worries that he and his wife and Bay Guardian co-founder Jean Dibble "are almost anachronisms" in today's media environment, with their brand of crusading alt-journalism. "Every good newspaper man ought to be controversial," Brugmann says.

Continue ReadingBay Guardian Gets Hat Tip from Editor & Publisher

The San Francisco alt-weekly and the Media Alliance filed papers yesterday to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Bay Area newspaper deal between Hearst Corp. and MediaNews Group Inc., reports Editor & Publisher. The Bay Guardian hopes to unseal documents filed by the two companies in the case. "The courts are supposed to operate in public, and there's a clear public interest in this information," says Editor and Publisher Bruce Brugmann (pictured). "Our intent here is to ensure that the nation's biggest newspaper chains, as they move to destroy daily competition and impose a regional monopoly on the Bay Area, cannot do so in the dark of night with sealed records that set a terrible precedent for the free press, the First Amendment, and open government."

Continue ReadingBay Guardian Asks Court to Unseal Hearst/MediaNews Documents

The 160-page anniversary issue, published today, is "an idiosyncratic mashup of 25 years of city journalism," writes editor Duane Swierczynski. "We've selected 25 'memorable' stories, from investigative epics to little goofy items that made us smile." Co-founder Bruce Schimmel provides details of the paper's "ugly, lovely birth" as an offshoot of a local community radio station, and Publisher Paul Curci looks toward the alt-weekly's future: "As a reader, expect to have more access, to our writers and to the stories themselves. Expect more new voices and new features. As an advertiser, expect more innovative ways to reach new customers. Above all, expect the unexpected."

Continue ReadingPhiladelphia City Paper Celebrates 25 Years

This week's BusinessWeek article on Kevin Rose claims that his company,, is headquartered "above the grungy offices of the SF Weekly." However, San Francisco Bay Guardian Editor and Publisher Bruce Brugmann notes in a blog post that Digg is actually "a good tenant on the third floor of the Guardian building." Although Brugmann takes offense that his paper was mistaken for SF Weekly, he devotes more words to the building being called "grungy." Brugmann has written BusinessWeek asking for a correction, and will provide updates on his "Bruce Blog."

Continue ReadingBrugmann Offended by ‘Grungy’ Errors in BusinessWeek Article