Last week IÂ excerpted an Editor & Publisher column thatÂ chided mainstream media for ignoring theÂ lawsuit brought by the independent weekly, theÂ San Francisco Bay Guardian.Â In 2004 the GuardianÂ charged thatÂ the rival San Francisco Weekly had usedÂ deep-pocket support from its corporate parent,Â Village Voice Media,Â to lower advertising pricesÂ in an alleged effort by the chain weekly to drive the indie weekly out of business.Â Under California lawÂ such behavior, if proven, would beÂ called “predatory pricing”Â as theÂ San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday afterÂ the case went to the jury lastÂ week. Here’s are two opposingÂ 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 aÂ Chronicle staff writer.