The Wall Street Journal's "Bankruptcy Beat" and Bloomberg report this morning on something I've also heard in my conversations with lawyers about the crazy alt-weekly fight in San Francisco:

The entire Village Voice Media alt-weekly empire could be forced into involuntary bankruptcy if it doesn't pay the $21 million that its San Francisco affiliate, SF Weekly, and that paper's holding company now owe the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Because the Journal and Bloomberg are based in New York, they lead with the idea that New York's Village Voice is potentially in trouble. True, but you could say the same about the Seattle Weekly, which is also owned by VVM—or about any of the 16 other "operating entities" around the country that are connected to the company.

The Village Voice, a New York City alternative newspaper, could soon face U.S. Bankruptcy Court proceedings after its parent, Village Voice Media LLC, lost a $15.9 million judgment for ad-price fixing, a lawyer said...

“You learn in civics class that when you get a judgment against you, you have to pay,” yet the Village Voice group hasn’t done so, said Tim Redmond, the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s executive editor. He said in a phone interview yesterday that the judgment has risen to $21 million, with interest.

The ruling gives Bay Guardian a lien on all the Village Voice group’s newspaper properties, according to Redmond, who said Bay Guardian is considering petitioning to put the Village Voice chain into involuntary bankruptcy to collect the debt.

“We’re considering all options,” including forced bankruptcy, Jay Adkisson, a lawyer representing Bay Guardian, said in a phone interview.