SF Weekly's Banks File Suit Against the Bay Guardian

march 16, 2010  04:25 pm
A lawsuit filed by the Bank of Montreal on behalf of a group of institutional lenders seeks a temporary restraining order and injunction to stop the San Francisco Bay Guardian's efforts to collect millions of dollars from SF Weekly as part of 2008's predatory-pricing jury verdict. Last week, a Superior Court commissioner ruled that the Guardian is entitled to half of the Weekly's ad revenue; the banks are arguing that they have the first legal right to any money made by the Weekly. Meanwhile, The Stranger reports that it has court filings that show Weekly parent company Village Voice Media Holdings has been declared in default on an $80 million loan it has from the Bank of Montreal. This comes as the Weekly is asking for a separate restraining order to stop the Guardian from sending letters to Weekly advertisers; they say advertisers have been receiving conflicting notices from the Guardian and Bank of Montreal about who has first rights to the Weekly's revenue. In a court filing, the Weekly's lawyer says the confusion, if allowed to continue, "is likely to devastate SF Weekly's advertising business beyond repair."