In a press release, the Guardian says that New Times Media LLC, the holding company for Village Voice Media, failed in its attempt to suspend the charging order entered last week in San Francisco Superior Court in favor of the Bay Guardian. That charging order gives the Guardian a lien on more of VVM's assets as the two continue to fight in court over the 2008 jury verdict that found VVM paper SF Weekly had illegally sold ads under cost in an effort to harm the Guardian. In a response, VVM says it knew it would lose this latest court battle, and alleges that the Guardian has repeatedly sought to delay" the appeal process of the 2008 verdict. READ MORE on the ongoing court battles from Bloomberg News and The Stranger.
In a message to all Village Voice Media employees sent out today, VVM CEO Jim Larkin and executive editor Michael Lacey say the ramifications of last week's court order that suggested the San Francisco Bay Guardian could seize assets from papers other than SF Weekly has been widely misunderstood. "[The order] simply says the Guardian can try and go after cash distributions New Times receives from its publications as a limited partner or member of the company," they say, pointing out that "the amount of those monies is zero," since the company's publications are "separately organized limited liability companies or limited partnerships that own, operate and publish in their respective communities." They say that as they continue their appeal of the original judgment, "our publications will continue to publish and conduct business as they have all along."
Last week, a San Francisco Superior Court commissioner granted the San Francisco Bay Guardian's request to place a lien on assets of SF Weekly's parent company, as the Guardian attempts to collect millions of dollars it was awarded in 2008's predatory-pricing trial. (The case is being appealed by the Weekly.) While the Guardian says it is "exploring the possible sale" of one or more of Village Voice Media's papers, reaction from several of those papers was relatively muted. Westword editor Patricia Calhoun tells the Denver Daily News she thinks it's highly unlikely that her paper will be impacted in any way. "This is a lawsuit that I'm sure our lawyers will resolve," she says. Meanwhile, the Seattle Weekly gives the Guardian a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the paper's assets it could seize, and MinnPost's David Brauer wonders if the ruling could hurt City Pages. His take? It's not likely, but "VVM had better start winning in court ... or we'll all have to start taking this a lot more seriously."
A San Francisco Superior Court commissioner has granted the San Francisco Bay Guardian's request to place a lien on the Weekly's holding company and the firm's interests in the Village Voice Media chain, as the Guardian attempts to collect the millions of dollars it was awarded in 2008's predatory-pricing trial. The Guardian's lawyer says the lien would enable it to seek another court order allowing it to sell off any of the VVM papers -- including SF Weekly - or simply take money from them to pay the judgment. But the Weekly's lawyer says the ruling is much narrower, and doesn't allow the Guardian to go after any of VVM's assets. Meanwhile, the Weekly continues its appeal of the initial ruling.
As we've noted recently, the San Francisco Bay Guardian has been going after the assets of SF Weekly as it tries to collect the millions of dollars it was awarded in 2008's predatory-pricing trial against the Weekly and parent company Village Voice Media. This week, the Guardian upped the ante, asking a court for permission to seize all property belonging not just to the Weekly but to all of VVM. An attorney for the Guardian tells the San Francisco Chronicle that it has been tough collecting anything since SF Weekly doesn't actually have much property, which is why they are now going after the rest of the company. But VVM continues to maintain it doesn't owe the Guardian anything until it has fully exhausted its appeals. The ruling on this could come down as early as today. READ MORE from The Stranger.
Greg Harman's three-part Nukes of Hazard series has made On Earth magazine's "Best Environmental Journalism of 2009" list, along with several books, a series from the New York Times and pieces from prominent national magazines like The New Yorker, Mother Jones and Vanity Fair. "Harman shows readers what's at stake in the current industry campaign to create a 'nuclear renaissance' in Texas," Osha Gray Davidson writes. "Nukes of Hazard is exactly what alternative weeklies are supposed to provide but frequently don't: a powerfully written, in-depth piece about an issue that is most important to readers -- now that they've found out about it." On Earth is published by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The San Francisco Bay Guardian reports that it was granted its motion to intercept the income of the SF Weekly in a court hearing last week. The Guardian says it will seize the rent that the SF Weekly's subtenant pays to the paper. This comes on the heels of the Guardian's recent seizure and auction of two vehicles owned by the Weekly, and it is all part of the Guardian's attempt to collect the multi-million-dollar judgment it was awarded in the predatory pricing trial against the Weekly and its parent company New Times, now known as Village Voice Media. VVM maintains that it won't owe the Guardian any money until its appeals are completed.
The Watchdog Institute, a newly formed investigative-journalism organization based in San Diego, recently published its first investigation, which looked at California's public list of registered sex offenders and mapped out how many in San Diego County currently live within 2,000 feet of a school or park. However, as CityBeat notes, the report -- which found that "more than 70 percent of registered sex offenders in San Diego County are violating a state law by living too close to schools and parks," was based on a flawed interpretation of Jessica's Law, the 2006 referendum that placed lifetime residence restrictions on California's sex offenders. The Watchdog Institute has thus far refused to issue a correction, so CityBeat's Kelly Davis launched a "Watchdog Watch" clock, timing how many days pass before the organization issues a correction.
The San Francisco Bay Guardian last week auctioned off two vehicles owned by the SF Weekly as it tries to collect the multi-million-dollar judgment it was awarded in the predatory pricing trial against the Weekly and its parent company New Times, now known as Village Voice Media. The Guardian, which seized the vehicles in November, says the move "prove[s] wrong the predictions of New Times executives that the Guardian would never collect a cent on its judgment." VVM maintains that it won't owe the Guardian any money until its appeals are completed.