Bay Guardian/VVM Trial Begins

january 18, 2008  06:00 pm
In court this week, a Guardian witness disavowed a key piece of evidence -- AAN's financial standards report -- that the paper was using to prove its predatory pricing charge against SF Weekly, the East Bay Express and Village Voice Media. The witness backed away from the AAN report after the Weekly's attorney's produced an affidavit from the woman who had compiled it asserting that it was unaudited and self-reported, "rendering it meaningless as a measure of financial performance," the Weekly reports. After considering this and motions from both parties on Wednesday and Thursday, the Weekly says the judge "ultimately concluded that the Weekly deserved additional time to respond, a decision which could delay the long-awaited trial." Naturally, the Guardian sees this week's developments a little differently. "If this is how the SF Weekly and the VVM guys from Phoenix are going to cover the trial, we're going to have to spend a lot of time correcting the record," Guardian executive editor Tim Redmond writes. He says that the Weekly's attorneys had "tried desperately" to keep the Guardian's witness from taking the stand at all, and sees the disavowal of the AAN financial data as inconsequential. The witness had developed two scenarios to show how much money the Guardian had lost, and not being allowed to use the AAN data, he will just rely on the other standards instead, according to Redmond.