Last week I excerpted an Editor & Publisher column that chided mainstream media for ignoring the lawsuit brought by the independent weekly, the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In 2004 the Guardian charged that the rival San Francisco Weekly had used deep-pocket support from its corporate parent, Village Voice Media, to lower advertising prices in an alleged effort by the chain weekly to drive the indie weekly out of business. Under California law such behavior, if proven, would be called “predatory pricing” as the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday after the case went to the jury last week. Here’s are two opposing snippets from the Chronicle article:
“Cash infusions from the parent company allowed the Weekly to drop ad prices from $18 a column inch to between $10 and $15 an inch, said Guardian attorney Ralph Alldredge . . . Weekly attorney H. Sinclair Kerr Jr. said the Guardian is tanking not because the Weekly is stealing its ad contracts but because things are bad for newspapers everywhere, big and small.”
I am a Chronicle staff writer.