Former Guardian ad director Jody Colley continued her testimony in that paper's predatory pricing trial against SF Weekly and Village Voice Media yesterday, as did Jennifer Lopez, a former ad sales rep of both papers. Colley's testimony centered on just how many accounts the Guardian may have lost due to alleged ad-price undercutting by the Weekly, and also on the challenges she faces in trying to increase the "unacceptably low prices" that she inherited from Village Voice Media when she took over as publisher of the East Bay Express, which was sold by VVM to by a group of investors in May 2007 and is also named in the suit. The trial resumes this morning.
Executive editor Tim Redmond and former ad director Jody Colley were called as witnesses yesterday in the predatory pricing trial against the Weekly and Village Voice Media. Redmond's testimony centered on local ownership and the crucial matter of editorial spending. The Guardian is arguing that the Weekly was trying to put them out of business because it refused to cut editorial spending while it lost money overall. On the other hand, the Weekly reports that Redmond said he has had to struggle with laying off writers and editors over the past few years. "If [ad] revenue goes down, I have to cut costs. The Weekly editors don't have to meet that kind of budget; they can just get more money from headquarters," Redmond writes on the Guardian's blog. Colley, who is now the publisher of the East Bay Express, testified mostly about the Weekly's dealings with concert promoter Billy Graham Presents, which the Guardian claims is an example of illegal below-cost pricing. Her testimony will continue when the trial resumes this morning.
Taking a cue from friends at the Sacramento News & Review, last month the Express launched "Urban Express-ions," a project that hopes to "pre-graffiti" distribution boxes by inviting local artists to adorn them with spray paint. The paper put out a call for artists, held a "painting day" in it's parking lot, and then displayed the results in a prominent Oakland gallery before putting the news boxes back on the street. "Instead of being blighted, we want these to be community art," says publisher Jody Colley, who spoke to AAN News with account manager Mary Younkin about the project. "We have new ownership at the Express and we really want to connect to the artist community more than we have in the past. This is kind of our first project doing that."
BONUS: Check out a video of the painting day below.
In the wake of Village Voice Media's sale of the East Bay Express, the Bay Guardian reports that Jody Colley is leaving to join the newly independent paper as its publisher. Colley previously worked in ad sales at Pitch Weekly when that Kansas City paper was owned by Hal Brody, one of the principal investors in the new Express.