Bay Guardian expert CPA Clifford Kupperberg continued his testimony yesterday in the paper's predatory pricing trial against SF Weekly and Village Voice Media. The next witness was the Weekly's expert CPA, Everett P. Harry, who argued that Kupperberg's testimony was flawed. For more on the trial, check out these blog posts from the Weekly and the Bay Guardian and this week's editor's note from the Guardian. The trial resumes today.
Damages expert Clifford Kupperberg continued his testimony on Wednesday in the Guardian's predatory pricing trial against SF Weekly and Village Voice Media. He put forth six "damage models," which estimated the financial toll on the Guardian by the Weekly's alleged below-cost sales at anywhere between $4 million to $11.8 million. For more details, check out the reports from the Bay Guardian and from the Weekly. The trial resumes today with continued cross-examination of Kupperberg.
SF Weekly publisher Josh Fromson took the stand on Friday and remained there until Tuesday (there was a day off on Monday for President's Day), and Bay Guardian expert witness Clifford Kupperberg also appeared before the court Tuesday. For more details, check out the reports from the Weekly, which says Kupperberg talked about "imaginary profits and damages," and the Guardian, which says Fromson "dodge[d] the facts."
Harvard Univ. economics professor Dr. Joseph Kalt and newspaper analyst John Morton testified on Village Voice Media's behalf on Thursday. Former SF Weekly publisher Troy Larkin also took the stand. SF Weekly reports on the testimony of Kalt, Morton and Larkin, while SFBG sticks with Kalt and Morton for now. The trial resumes today with the cross-examination of Larkin.
The predatory pricing trial resumed yesterday after taking Tuesday off. Village Voice Media chief financial officer Keating finished his testimony, and three more witnesses were called: Jennifer Vernon from Live Nation (formerly Clear Channel Concerts); James Higginbotham of International Demographics, the company that runs Media Audit; and the SF Weekly's expert witness, economics professor Joseph P. Kalt. For more details, check out reports from the Guardian and the Weekly.
Village Voice Media chief financial officer Jed Brunst and former SF Weekly publisher Chris Keating took the stand yesterday in the predatory-pricing trial. In its wrap-up, the SF Weekly focuses on the part of Brunst's testimony that offered "evidence that Weekly rates have been going up over time," not down. The Bay Guardian, on the other hand, focuses on the "huge amounts of cash" the Weekly and the East Bay Express had lost under New Times/VVM control. The trial takes a day off today for Lincoln's Birthday, and will resume on Wednesday.
On Friday, Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey testified in the predatory pricing trial. The Guardian says Lacey "had some trouble answering some key questions" about SF Weekly's ad sales and a 1995 meeting where he met the Weekly staff shortly after purchasing the paper. The Weekly says Lacey's testimony illustrated that his and Bruce Brugmann's "editorial philosophies were worlds apart," and notes that Lacey's testimony showed he is not involved in the business side of VVM's affairs. This is key because of comments he made about being "the only game in town," which the Guardian is using as evidence he wanted to drive them out of business. Patricia Calhoun, editor of Denver's Westword, which New Times bought in 1983, also testified on Friday, and according to the Weekly, she "got on and off the stand in only about twenty minutes, a timely performance that drew appreciative nods from jurors." The trial resumes today.
With the testimony of San Francisco Bay Guardian editor and publisher Bruce Brugmann concluded, drama in the courtroom subsided on Wednesday as Guardian attorneys read depositions from VVM chief financial officer Jed Brunst and former SF Weekly publisher Chris Keating. The SF Weekly's dispatch is here, and the Bay Guardian's take is here.
Although their dispatches read as if they're reporting from two different trials, both SF Weekly and the Bay Guardian agree that the temperature in the courtroom rose on Tuesday when the Bay Guardian's editor and publisher, Bruce Brugmann, took the stand. According to VVM's Andy Van De Voorde, Brugmann "exploded on the stand ... pounding his hand on the witness box, raising his voice, and growing red-faced." But Bay Guardian executive editor Tim Redmond says his boss "stood up remarkably well under a cross-examination" and "generally made the SF Weekly's lawyer look silly." The Bay Guardian filed a more extensive report on the trial here, while SF Weekly posted dispatches following the action on Friday and Monday.