Thursday, March 6, 2008

Paper Wars II: Alternative Weeklies win court case

hat tip to LEO's General Sense of Outrage:

A jury in San Francisco has sided with the alt-weekly San Francisco Bay Guardian in a case that could have ripple effects across the industry. The Bay Guardian had sued one of its competitors, the SF Weekly, owned by Village Voice Media, for undercutting it on display ad rates and using cash infusions from its parent company to stay afloat and try to destroy the Bay Guardian.

The Bay Guardian may be entitled to up to $15 million from SF Weekly. Damn.

This is a significant ruling for alternative newsweeklies like LEO, who are engaged in fights for their lives with companies like VVM and, in Louisville, Gannett. We suspect that a similar strategy is afoot here with Velocity, which was designed as part of a corporate strategy by Gannett to tap into the younger, more alternative demographic — one they haven't been able to capture with their daily or, perhaps more significantly, their website.

Any lawyers out there want to pony up with LEO for a lawsuit? It'd be pro bono, of course, but think of the satisfaction you might be in for with this as precedent.

P.S. If you want to learn more (a lot more) about Gannett's strategy to destroy its competition by any means necessary, read Chain Gang by Richard McCord.

Uh-oh, corporate media. The "losers" at LEO might have a case.

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