Two weeks ago we reported on the New Times‘ $22 million death feud with a rival publication. (Long story short, the NT‘s parent company was found guilty of using “predatory pricing” to try to bury a competitor to its SF Weekly, and now owes more than $22M and counting in fines and legal fees.)
It’s a surreal story about two print dinosaurs battling it out for the domination of the same city that’s worked tirelessly (and successfully) to make them completely irrelevant, thanks to this little thing called the Internets. And now the original print dinosaur, the NY Times is weighing in.
Although the article is mostly just a rehashing of earlier pieces (the Seattle alt-weekly, The Stranger has been all over this story like a wet newspaper), the NY Times did manage to squueze some emailed quotes out of the NT‘s editor/co-owner, Michael Lacey, who’s been freakishly silent since the California Appeal court upheld the fine on Aug 12. To wit:
“[SF Guardian publisher] Bruce Brugmann believes he owns San Francisco and should dictate who is allowed to do business there,” said Mr. Lacey in an email. “He announced upon our arrival that coming to his city would be our Vietnam. We don’t believe Brugmann or lower courts can tell us how much to invest in journalism, and we believe the California Supreme Court will agree.”
He added: “We never attempted to put Brugmann out of business. We merely tried to survive the collapse of tourism in San Francisco, the dot-com bust and the 9/11 economic crash. And we managed that quite well at the same time that we put out award-winning journalism.”
Meanwhile, Brugman went on the record with a lame swipe about the NT’s AZ roots:
“They came riding into town out of Tombstone, and they started shooting up the place, and now they are going to have to pay the consequences.”
YeeHaw! Sounds like these two won’t be dancing together at the hoedown anytime soon. You may now continue to not read print newspapers again.
Image via KJZZ