Friday, October 21, 2005

Bay Guardian sues SF Weekly owner alleging predatory pricing
Bay Guardian editor Tim Redmond reports that his newspaper has sued the New Times chain and its local papers, the SF Weekly and East Bay Express, for violating U.S. antitrust laws and California's Business and Professions Code. Specifically, the Guardian claims New Times is selling ads at below cost, forcing the Bay Guardian to do the same. Eventually the Guardian's pockets will run out of money faster than New Times, and that's unfair, or at least that's how the legal theory goes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

October 2005 Press Club board minutes

Meeting brought to order at 6:18 p.m.

Present: FULL HOUSE! Micki Carter, John Cane, Darryl Compton, Jamie Casini, Jon Mays, Peter Cleveland, Ed Remitz, Aimee Lewis Strain, Dave Price

Minutes of the September meeting were approved.

Treasury Report:

$120 spent on annual PPC picnic

$20 on Schmoozerama, a media networking event

Board approved Compton's report

Old Business:

Carter said she spoke with James Kelly regarding the purchase of the San Francisco Press Club's URL. Kelly told Carter that they want to dump their server and don't want the name to be lost. Discussion revolved around the purchase of the domain name to drive traffic to the Peninsula Press Club's Web site. Carter said she does not know the price or if and when the last payment was made by the SFPC to keep their URL. Carter said the SFPC name was not for sale, rather the URL.

Price said he was concerned that there was no guarantee that Kelly has the right to sell the URL to the PPC. Price was concerned with existing SFPC bylaws and any other legal issues. He said he doesn't feel comfortable because if there's no authorization from the proper people than we could have some potential legal problems. Price suggested obtaining a resolution from the existing board.

Price also suggested purchasing the SFPC name and licensing it out to San Francisco State University for their uses.

Carter agreed to talk to other people that may be associated with the SFPC to find out more information.

New Business:

The annual Christmas party will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at Harry's Hofbrau, located at 1909 El Camino Real, Redwood City. The party will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. Kane agreed to book the back room and make all other arrangements.

The board agreed that the cost will be $10. Guests will be asked to bring canned food for the holiday drive at the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Compton said that last year's party cost about $700. About 50 percent of that was brought in by guests, he said.

The board agreed to make the Christmas party the annual membership meeting as well.

The board agreed once again to meet on Nov. 16 and Dec. 14 so that Remitz can make the meeting.

The board agreed to discuss PPC elections at the November meeting. Beloved PPC President Carter has been termed out so the board needs to elect a new chief. A new treasurer needs to be chosen too, since Bill Workman can no longer serve in that capacity. Carter said she plans to put a ballot in the newsletter.

Board expressed desire for Workman to remain on board. Carter stated that Workman brings a "keen perspective" to the board. The board hopes to find transportation for Workman so he can attend the monthly meetings.

Compton agreed to provide the board with a raise proposal by the New Year.

PPC awards contest rules to be discussed at November meeting.

Board discussed resurrecting the Bench, Bar, Media event. Carter and Strain agreed to discuss it further and Strain said she would make some calls and bring up findings at November meeting.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:21 p.m.

Monday, October 17, 2005

False report of arrest came from Bronstein

SF Chron Editor Phil Bronstein was preparing to be interviewed by Fox News when he overheard a tip that a caretaker was arrested in the murder of Daniel Horowitz's wife, according to mediabistro.com. A producer at Fox heard the same thing, and when the camera went on, the anchor asked Bronstein about the tip. He told the audience what he knew, and Fox turned it into a story -- without checking it. Twenty minutes later, Fox had to retract the story.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Knight Ridder buys South Bay weeklies

Knight Ridder is buying Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, which publishes eight weekly free-distribution newspapers in the South Bay area surrounding KR's San Jose Mercury News.

The eight are: Los Gatos Weekly-Times, Saratoga News, Cupertino Courier, Sunnyvale Sun, Campbell Reporter, Willow Glen Resident, Rose Garden Resident and Almaden Resident. The group also includes the San Jose City Times, a legal newspaper, and a glossy publication called Image.

The newspapers are weekly publications with a combined circulation of more than 157,000. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

David Cohen, currently publisher and CEO of the group, who manages and operates the publications, will continue to do so for Knight Ridder. He will report to KR's Greg Goff, vice president of speciality publications. The plan is to maintain the operations as they are now configured, Goff said.

"These weeklies have been serving readers for 20 years," said Goff. "They provide saturation coverage of their respective areas in the South Bay and are a good fit with our Palo Alto Daily News Group of free dailies, which are located primarily in the Peninsula. We're very pleased to be adding them to our company."

Cohen said, "This was an easy decision, because I know that Knight Ridder is committed to continuing our high quality, fiercely local coverage. With the resources of Knight Ridder, we will be able to fulfill our vision of bringing our brand of community journalism to a greater audience."

The oldest of the papers dates back more than 120 years. The weeklies provide coverage of local schools, youth sports, local government, business, law enforcement, features, opinions and community profiles.