Andy Van De Voorde, executive associate editor for Village Voice Media, hasn't been responding to Stranger questions since January.
But this morning, in response to yesterday's events in San Francisco, he sent a brief comment on the potential fate of the VVM-owned SF Weekly, now that a court has ruled it has to give half its ad revenue each month to its alt-weekly rival, the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
That ruling was part of an effort by the Bay Guardian to begin aggressively collecting on a $21 million predatory pricing judgment it won against the SF Weekly back in 2008. Van De Voorde said in an e-mail:
My only comment at this point is that we will be asking a state appeal court to overturn this ruling. And that the SF Weekly is absolutely not going out of business.
This is just part of the Guardian's ongoing and premature efforts to collect money before the appeal court has even had a chance to rule on the underlying merits of the lawsuit.
I would also emphasize that neither Village Voice Media Holdings nor Village Voice Media are now, or have ever been, defendants in this lawsuit. The Guardian has recently attempted to have those entities added to the judgment, but the judge hasn't done so, and, in fact, has vacated all the dates with regard to the Motion to Amend the Judgment, noting, among other things, that there are serious jurisdictional [issues] about such an effort, particularly now that the case has been fully briefed with the California Court of Appeal.
The Guardian's collections lawyer, Jay Adkisson, disputes that last bit, and says a hearing on adding VVM to the judgment is now set for April 9. In any case, the crazy (and crazy complicated) back-story, and its possible connection to Seattle and other cities all over the country, begins here.