The San Francisco Bay Guardian's Tim Redmond and Salt Lake City Weekly's John Saltas are joined by Amy Mitchell of the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism for a wide-ranging discussion on the alt-weekly industry on Salt Lake City public radio station KUER. Among the topics covered: how alt-weeklies are faring on the web, the future of the industry and competing with the daily press.

Continue ReadingRedmond, Saltas Discuss the State of the Alt-Weekly World

California Superior Court Judge Marla J. Miller ruled on Tuesday that she has no authority to amend a 2008 predatory-pricing judgment since the case is already pending before the California Court of Appeal. The San Francisco Bay Guardian had asked the court to include Village Voice Media LLC and Village Voice Media Holdings LLC, as part of its efforts to collect the money it was awarded in the judgment against SF Weekly. The Weekly has refused to pay the $21 million it owes the Guardian, saying it will pay once it exhausts its options to appeal.

Continue ReadingJudge Won’t Include SF Weekly Parent Co. in ’08 Judgment

As of April 7, the Georgia Straight was number one, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian number four, on the list, which is put together by the researchers and students at The Committee for Newspaper and Media Integrity. Oxford University law student Aron Ping D'Souza, one of the project leaders, says they initially combed the web looking for "key terminologies" about newspaper names, articles and links. "We surveyed millions of pieces of data and found where people were using language that would indicate reputability based on a theory called natural-language queries, and we developed preliminary data from that," he says. "Now that people can give rankings in supplement to that chatter-theory-based argument, we can verify the method in some ways, and also we can improve the method."

Continue ReadingTwo Alt-Weeklies Land on ‘Most Reputable Papers in the World’ List

A San Francisco Superior Court judge last week granted a motion by the San Francisco Bay Guardian to set a hearing to determine if Bank of Montreal, the lead bank for SF Weekly, should be held in contempt of court for telling the Weekly's advertisers that it has first right to that paper's money. The Guardian contends that the March ruling allowing the Guardian to take half of the Weekly's ad revenue means it has first right to any money from the Weekly, not the bank. The hearing is set for April 30.

Continue ReadingJudge Sets Hearing on Bay Guardian’s Contempt Claim Against Bank

San Francisco Bay Guardian executive editor Tim Redmond writes that while he thought Eli Sanders' recent story on the feud between the Guardian and SF Weekly in The Stranger was mostly right, he faults Sanders (and others) for casting the legal battle as a clash of egos. "The thing is, Bruce [Brugmann] and Mike [Lacey] haven't hated each other for decades," Redmond writes. "They weren't terribly close, but they got along fine -- and sometimes, they were political allies." He points to their unlikely alliance at the 1997 AAN Convention (three years after New Times purchased SF Weekly) to push a bylaws measure (and digs up a photo of the two arm-in-arm) as proof. "They were almost, sorta, kinda pals," he writes. "At least for a few minutes."

Continue ReadingBay Guardian Editor: The SF Weekly Suit ‘Wasn’t Personal’

The legal battle between the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the SF Weekly is "a war straight out of the last century in its ruthlessness and its destructive potential," writes The Stranger's Eli Sanders in a 10,000-plus word cover story this week. The piece covers a lot of ground, but frames the battle as one between two alt-titans: Bay Guardian publisher Bruce Brugmann and Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey. "These two men have hated each other for decades," Sanders writes, "but with increasing venom since 1995, when Lacey showed up in San Francisco in cowboy boots to announce that he and his partners had just purchased the tiny SF Weekly and planned to make a huge success of it."

Continue ReadingThe Stranger Looks at ‘The Crazy Alt-Weekly War in San Francisco’

A lawsuit filed by the Bank of Montreal on behalf of a group of institutional lenders seeks a temporary restraining order and injunction to stop the San Francisco Bay Guardian's efforts to collect millions of dollars from SF Weekly as part of 2008's predatory-pricing jury verdict. Last week, a Superior Court commissioner ruled that the Guardian is entitled to half of the Weekly's ad revenue; the banks are arguing that they have the first legal right to any money made by the Weekly. Meanwhile, The Stranger reports that it has court filings that show Weekly parent company Village Voice Media Holdings has been declared in default on an $80 million loan it has from the Bank of Montreal. This comes as the Weekly is asking for a separate restraining order to stop the Guardian from sending letters to Weekly advertisers; they say advertisers have been receiving conflicting notices from the Guardian and Bank of Montreal about who has first rights to the Weekly's revenue. In a court filing, the Weekly's lawyer says the confusion, if allowed to continue, "is likely to devastate SF Weekly's advertising business beyond repair."

Continue ReadingSF Weekly’s Banks File Suit Against the Bay Guardian

A Superior Court commissioner has ruled the San Francisco Bay Guardian is entitled to half the advertising revenue of the SF Weekly to help collect $21 million in damages after a 2008 jury verdict of illegal price-cutting. Guardian attorney Jay Adkisson says the ad revenue would be "a very significant" amount -- potentially as much as $200,000 a month. Meanwhile, the Weekly's parent company, Village Voice Media Holdings (VVMH), will ask a state appeals court to overturn the ruling. VVMH executive associate editor Andy Van De Voorde says the Weekly will stay in business regardless. The Weekly is also currently in the midst of a separate appeal of the verdict. MORE from Westword.

Continue ReadingCourt: Bay Guardian Gets Half of SF Weekly’s Ad Revenue