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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 nor posted an appeal bond that would ensure payment, Redmond said.

Moreover, Redmond said he’s learned from sources that the owners of VVM have transferred $15 million in company funds to their personal accounts in case the appeals court upholds the jury verdict.

Redmond asked VVM executive editor and partner Michael Lacey about it in an e-mail. Lacey exploded in an e-mail he sent back to Redmond, flatly denying the transfer of any funds:

Then, later in the e-mail, Lacey says:

Lacey goes on to say:

After firing off his response, Lacey posted both Redmond’s questions and his response on the SF Weekly’s site before Redmond had a chance to write his column about the lawsuit. When Redmond posted his column it carried the headline “SF Weekly’s deadbeat dad,” and included this:

The exchange between Lacey and Redmond was reminiscent of last year’s trial, which each publication covered on an almost daily basis on their Web sites. In March 2008, a jury found that the SF Weekly sold ads at below cost for 12 years in an attempt to run the locally owned Guardian out of business, in violation of California’s predatory pricing law. (Photo credits: Lacey, Phoenix New Times; Redmond, SF Weekly)

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