Appeals court hears SF Weekly’s case

The SF Weekly and its owner, Village Voice Media, got its day in court on Friday (June 11). The alt-weekly chain is trying to get the California Court of Appeals to overturn a $21 million verdict in favor of the Bay Guardian. The Guardian argued that the chain sold ads at below the cost of production in an attempt to run it out of business. A jury agreed. News coverage of the case has mainly come from the two papers

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A different view of the war of the weeklies

The Stranger, an alt-weekly in Seattle, has a story about the legal battle between the SF Weekly and Bay Guardian. It’s a war straight out of the last century in its ruthlessness and its destructive potential, and it continues to escalate even as, all around them, the entire words-on-paper industry is in a state of collapse. They’re like dinosaurs, fighting over the rotting bones of a soon-to-be-extinct animal. On one side there’s Michael G. Lacey, 61, the executive editor and

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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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SF Weekly ordered to give 50% of revenues to rival

Winning a lawsuit is one thing, collecting the money from the loser is another. Two years ago, a lawyer for Bruce Brugmann’s Bay Guardian convinced a San Francisco jury that the SF Weekly and its parent company were selling ads at below the cost of production in order to gain market share and run Brugmann out of business. A jury on March 5, 2008, awarded Brugmann $6.39 million. A judge added $9.2 million in penalties. Since then more than $5

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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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Two opinions on the Chron’s plight

Here’s a stunner of a headline, at least for Bruce Brugmann’s Bay Guardian: “Save the Chronicle!” He’s been criticizing the Chronicle for 42 years for failing to cover stories and for its biased slant on others. But if the Chronicle dies, the city will lose an important, if often infuriating, civic institution. Hearst should not be allowed to turn San Francisco into the first major American city with no major daily newspaper — not without extensive oversight, hearings, and a

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Judge raises amount SF Weekly must pay

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Marla Miller on Monday raised the amount the SF Weekly must pay in damages to the Bay Guardian — from $6.3 million to $15.9 million — for undercutting its rival with below-cost ads, the Chronicle reports. Miller also put a 10-year injunction on the Weekly, barring it from selling display ads below cost. The SF Weekly, part of the Village Voice Media chain of alt-weeklies, has vowed to appeal. Its lawyers argue the Guardian lost

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Judge will likely bar paper’s cut-rate ad sales

U.S. District Judge Marla Miller said Friday that she will likely issue an injunction barring the SF Weekly from selling cut-rate advertising as a way of putting the competing Bay Guardian out of business, according to the AP and other media. Miller also said she is inclined to more than double the damages a jury awarded to the Guardian in its dispute with the Weekly, from $6.3 million to $15.6 million. The higher amount equals a year’s worth of the

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Guardian wins $15 million in SF Weekly suit

A San Francisco jury this afternoon awarded the Bay Guardian $15.6 million after determining that the SF Weekly and its corporate owner illegally sold below-cost ads in an attempt to run the locally-owned paper out of business, the Guardian, AP and the Chron report. At the end of the five-week trial, Guardian Publisher Bruce Brugmann told the jury that his paper would have to close if it lost the case. Jurors were told that the SF Weekly had lost money

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Weeklies slam each other as they go to trial

The sniping between San Francisco’s two alternative weeklies has become so intense that the papers are running corrections of each other’s stories. The bickering involves the Guardian’s predatory pricing lawsuit against the SF Weekly and its owners Village Voice Media. The trial began Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court. Each paper is posting online updates that are loaded with attacks on their competitor. A few quotes and headlines: GUARDIAN: “It’s extraordinary how the SF Weekly can take a clear legal

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