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Law

Dallas Observer Parent Company Defaults on $80 Million Loan

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Was talking to some alt-weekly industry bigwigs yesterday, and they kind of saw this coming. (No doubt because of stories like this, which you’ll want to read for background.) Long story short: Village Voice Media, which owns the Dallas Observer and the SF Weekly in San Francisco, was sued by its competitor, the Bay Guardian, for predatory pricing. The Bay Guardian won. The case is on appeal, but in the meantime, because VVM couldn’t pay a $25 million note (spare me the legal details, I know I’m skimming), the judge has ordered that the BG can start taking half of SF Weekly‘s advertising revenue. Meanwhile, back in Montreal, the bank that in effect owns VVM says, “WAIHT! ZEES MONEY EEZ OURS!” and has … well, just read the stories. It’s incredibly juicy media catfight kinda stuff.

Two footnotes: One, you’ll want to read VVM’s official take here, which explains this was legally necessary but they’re in no danger of going under, and two, yes, I used to work at the Observer and even interviewed to be its editor a few years ago (and was told, um, that will never happen), but if those circumstances kept me from commenting on local media companies, I’d have to stop altogether.

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