We seize SF Weekly's vehicles

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By Tim Redmond

SF Weekly and its corporate parents, New Times and Village Voice Media, owe us $20 million from our lawsuit victory last year -- and they're trying hard to duck payment.

But a big national chain can't hide its money forever -- and we've made some progress. Here's a press release we're sending out on our collection efforts:

BAY GUARDIAN SEIZES SF WEEKLY VEHICLES AS COLLECTION EFFORTS ADVANCE

The San Francisco Bay Guardian has taken new, aggressive steps toward collecting a $20 million judgment against The SF Weekly and New Times Media LLC, the parent company of 16 weekly alternative newspapers in major markets across the nation, including the Village Voice and LA Weekly.

Last week, the Guardian auctioned off two vehicles owned by the SF Weekly. The Guardian seized the vehicles in November.

The initial recovery efforts prove wrong the predictions of New Times executives that the Guardian would never collect a cent on its judgment.

The Guardian has also asserted liens against New Times' interests in each of its subsidiaries that operate newspapers. Further significant collection actions are expected to be initiated by the Guardian this week.

The Guardian sued SF Weekly and New Times in San Francisco Superior Court in 2004, charging that the big chain was pricing ads below cost in an effort to harm the smaller competitor. In 2008, a San Francisco jury awarded the Guardian more than $6 million, which Judge Marla Miller increased to more than $15 million. With attorney’s fees and interest, the judgment has since grown to approximately $20 million.

Under California law, post-judgment interest is 10%, so the judgment is now growing at more than $4,000 per day.
New Times and SF Weekly may also be liable for the Guardian's costs and attorneys fees for its collection efforts.
New Times -- now part of the Village Voice Media chain -- is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

The company has not posted a bond, which would postpone the Bay Guardian's collection of its judgment until the appeal of the case is resolved. But its attorneys have insisted that the chain’s assets are protected from any collection efforts.

Comments

i want to root for the gaurdian because they are indie, but sf weekly puts out much better copy.

the truth is that the bay area needs them both, so quit fighting and make nice. newspapers are rare in this day and age!

Posted by natalie on Dec. 08, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

Lets say that the SF Weekly did try and ruin the Guardian, I suppose that would be a conspiracy, but how exactly is capitalism itself a conspiracy?

I suppose you could note the scheming of the Enron folk, but they are second to so many, for instance, the Ayatolla after the Iranian revolution, and the Ayatolla is no capitalist.

It doesn't make sense in that all kinds of people are trying to get over while their belief or economic system is secondary to their scheme.

And its hardly a stretch to say that the progressives are free of kooky conspiracies, for instance the conspiracy to not report illegal aliens.

Posted by glen matlock on Dec. 08, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

Journalism is often called the 4th estate. As a result it seems inherently political.

Posted by Digidave on Dec. 08, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

Capitalism is both political and a conspiracy, particularly when it seeks to destroy independent local voices like the Guardian's. And before you scoff at that, you should really look at the facts that emerged in this case and consider why they were so compelling to the jury.

Posted by Steven T. Jones on Dec. 08, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

It's political? How? Are you suggesting there was some vast conspiracy behind this plot? You're starting to sound like Steven Jones with his endless obsession with 9/11 conspiracy theories. I expect better from you H.

Posted by Lucretia the Trollop on Dec. 08, 2009 @ 12:11 am

Lucretia,

Trying to silence the number one voice of Progressive politics in Sf through price fixing is most definitely political and should be on the politics page. Tim, did you use 'Repo Man'?

h.

Posted by h. brown on Dec. 07, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

Tim why do you post this endlessly on the politics page? The spat between The Guardian and the parent company of the SF Weekly has nothing to do with politics.

I'm excited to see how much of the judgment The Guardian is planning to donate to non-profits operating in the Tenderloin. Once The Guardian does finally collect there will exist a perfect opportunity for the company and its employees to put their money where their mouths are.

Posted by Lucretia the Trollop on Dec. 07, 2009 @ 5:58 pm