SF Weekly and parent company hit by boycott

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, or SF MOMA, has pulled its ads from the SF Weekly as part of a national advertiser boycott launched by an Ohio minister to get the paper’s parent company to stop running sex ads that are alleged to promote sex trafficking. Pastor Justin Wassel of Columbus, Ohio, has gathered thousands of signatures online asking Village Voice Media to shut down its Backpage.com adult section. He’s been joined by 20 other ministers. Village Voice

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SFWeekly reportedly lays off 4 news staffers

The SFWeekly has laid off four staffers including reporter Matt Smith in what appears to be a budget-cutting move by parent company Village Voice Media, Eve Batey of the SFAppeal reports. The layoffs come month after the rival Bay Guardian let go three of its editorial staffers, about a third of its staff. The SFAppeal quoted one unnamed SFWeekly staffer as saying, “Apparently, it’s across the board in all Village Voice Media, but SF Weekly was hit the hardest because

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Guardian, SF Weekly settle, terms not disclosed

The Bay Guardian and SF Weekly announced on their respective websites Monday that they have reached a settlement after the Guardian won a $21 million judgment over allegations that the Weekly sold ads at below cost in violation of state law. While both publications wrote tens of thousands of words about the case as it moved through the courts, the announcements were short. Neither side disclosed the terms. The Guardian said: “The parties have settled their differences on mutually acceptable

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SF Weekly, Guardian war in final stage

Randall Chase, an AP business writer in Wilmington, Del., reports that a judge there canceled a hearing Wednesday regarding a request by lenders to prevent the Bay Guardian from collecting advertising revenue from SF Weekly. The Guardian, headed by Bruce Brugmann, has been trying to collect a $21 million award from the Weekly and its parent, Village Voice Media, after winning a lawsuit over pricing issues. A jury found that the SF Weekly illegally priced ads below the cost of

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SF Weekly lashes out at ‘the political left’

The SF Weekly and its parent company, Village Voice Media, is lashing out at the “the political left” for the $21 million judgment it has been ordered to pay the Bay Guardian for anti-competitive business practices. Andy VanDeVoorde, a Village Voice Media executive and spokesman, wrote in the SF Weekly: “The California courts have held fast to a dubious principle: That endorsing politically correct ‘anti-chain’ sentiment is a more important judicial goal than protecting free-market competition.” The problem with that

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State Supreme Court rejects SF Weekly appeal

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to review a $21 million damage award against the SF Weekly and its parent company, Village Voice Media, in a suit brought by the Bay Guardian. A San Francisco jury in March 2008 found the SF Weekly and VVM slashed advertising prices to drive the Guardian out of business, in violation of state antitrust laws. The defendants lost at the court of appeals and its last hope was the state supreme court. But

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NYT reports on SF alt-weekly court battle

Alt-weeklies share an editorial formula that marries anti-establishment politics with heavy entertainment coverage and listings,” says Jonathan Weber of Bay Citizen writing in The New York Times’ Bay Area section. “… The in-your-face, libertarian-leaning approach of New Times was perfect for Phoenix, just as [Bay Guardian publisher Bruce] Brugmann’s old-school leftism was a fit for San Francisco.”

Appeals court upholds $21m verdict to Guardian

A state appeals court on Wednesday upheld a $21 million verdict in favor of the Bay Guardian, saying that the chain-owned SF Weekly and its parent company illegally sold ads at below cost in an attempt to run the locally-owned Guardian out of business. Here’s the ruling, the Chron’s story and the Guardian’s report. The SF Weekly, which until now had been continuously covering the case, hadn’t posted anything about the ruling as of 4 p.m. Friday, more than 48

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Village Voice Media $80 million in default

The parent company of the SF Weekly, Village Voice Media, has been declared in default on an $80 million loan it has from the Bank of Montreal, according to the Seattle alt-weekly the Stranger. That means that both the bank and the Bay Guardian, which has a $21 million judgment against the SF Weekly and VVM, are sending letters to SF Weekly advertisers, saying they should receive payment for ads in the paper. The attorney for VVM ran to court

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Bay Guardian wants SF Weekly parent to pay up

A year after a San Francisco jury found in favor of the Bay Guardian in its predatory pricing lawsuit against the SF Weekly and its parent Village Voice Media, editors at the papers are as spitting angry at each other as ever. The most recent flare up occurred when the Guardian’s editor, Tim Redmond, wanted to know if VVM ever planned to pay the verdict, which is approaching $20 million including interest. VVM is appealing but hasn’t paid the money

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