On Guard: The story behind the Bay Guardian’s new ownership and the departure of Editor-Publisher Tim Redmond

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Tim Redmond's last day as the editor-publisher of the Bay Guardian was June 13.
Luke Thomas


[An abridged version of this article appears in this week's Guardian]

Longtime Bay Guardian Editor Tim Redmond left the newspaper last week in a dispute with its new owners over personnel changes and his autonomy within San Francisco Print Media Company, which also includes the San Francisco Examiner and SF Weekly.

Redmond led the Guardian newsroom for most of his 31 years with the newspaper and engineered last year's sale to Todd Vogt and a Canadian ownership team. As part of that sale — which Redmond cast to staff as saving the Guardian from bankruptcy and closure — Bruce B. Brugmann and Jean Dibble, the couple who founded the Guardian in 1966, retired from the paper, its Potrero Hill office building was sold, and the Guardian moved into the Examiner's downtown office in June 2012.

Redmond was the Guardian editor and publisher, the name at the top of our masthead and the person solely in charge of Guardian operations, and he told staff he had been guaranteed full autonomy by the new ownership, which was important to the Guardian staff. As such, he resisted Vogt's periodic efforts to control the newspaper, including early threats to fire City Editor Steven T. Jones for unspecifed reasons, which Vogt had mentioned to Redmond, directly to Jones, and to Guardian writer Rebecca Bowe prior to her return to the Guardian at the beginning of this year.

Nonetheless, Vogt did make some successful incursions on the Guardian's independence, initially by encouraging layoffs, later by interfering with Guardian endorsements in the November 2012 election.

On Oct. 26, 2012, without consulting Redmond, Vogt named Examiner Editor Stephen Buel to be vice president for editorial overseeing both newspapers, announcing that Buel would "oversee the editorial direction, content, tone and voice of our newspapers and web sites."

Shortly after the purchase of the longtime Guardian rival SF Weekly two months later, Vogt similarly appointed Weekly writer Erin Sherbert to oversee online communications at all three papers.

Neither Buel nor Sherbert directed or reviewed any Guardian editorial content prior to publication, although some stories from the Guardian and the Weekly began to appear in the Examiner's newspaper and website, often edited by Examiner editors but giving credit to their original source.

The Guardian's weekly revenues continued to remain flat or decline, at least partially because of the departure of two of the Guardian's commission-based advertising representatives, positions which remain unfilled. The San Francisco Print Media Company then instituted a new system in which ad reps would try to sell into all three papers, which particularly hurt the Guardian's bottom line during the run-up to the SF Weekly's large Best of San Francisco, published May 29. The Guardian's sales staff remains significantly smaller than that of the other two publications.

Vogt, Buel, and Chief Financial Officer Pat Brown began a conversation with Redmond about the need to cut expenditures, focusing on the newsroom, which until June 14 had seven full-time Guardian staffers and a part-time art director, who also works for the Examiner.

Redmond expressed a willingness to make cuts while also emphasizing the need to hire more ad reps to boost revenue, Redmond and Buel both told us. "He made it very clear that we need more salespeople," said Buel, who also told us that he supported Redmond's stance with Vogt and Brown that he should be allowed to choose where the cuts would be made.

"Todd and I were in the middle of difficult and ongoing negotiations for how to cut costs. My position is that it is entirely appropriate for the owner to ask us to cut costs, and then I would come back with a plan," Redmond told us.

Instead, on June 12, shortly before Redmond left the office to moderate a well-attended forum that he had organized on Plan Bay Area and San Francisco's long-term growth policies (see related story), Vogt called Redmond and Buel into Brown's office and demanded he lay off three specific people in the newsroom (ironically, not including Jones, whose work Vogt has come to publicly praise in recent months) as soon as the current issue is complete. That would have cut in half the number of writers and editors working under Redmond, making it difficult to put out a paper.

"To have me lay off three people by name is not acceptable," Redmond told us, holding firm that he would cut expenses but that he wouldn't let Vogt micromanage the Guardian in that fashion. Redmond informed Buel of his decision on June 13 and sought to meet with Vogt, who wasn't in the office that day.

"Tim told me in no uncertain terms that he couldn't do it," Buel told us. "He was civil and cordial and adult about it, but he was very clear he was going to leave the Guardian" rather than be forced to implement that decision. Buel then conveyed to Vogt that Redmond had offered to resign rather than making the cuts.

The next night, Redmond and Vogt exchanged a series of emails in which Redmond repeatedly offered to leave and help create a smooth leadership transition and Vogt repeatedly insisted that Redmond make the cuts and/or clarify whether he was resigning.

It culminated shortly before midnight with Vogt telling Redmond that his resignation had been accepted — to which Redmond responded the next morning that he hadn't offered his resignation — and that he was barred from returning to the office or speaking for the Guardian.

Vogt's explanation

Guardian staffers arrived to the office earlier than usual as requested, for a 9:30am meeting Vogt had called shortly before midnight, but Vogt was absent. The meeting commenced around 10:15am, with Vogt phoning in from Canada for his first meeting exclusively with Guardian staff.

"I've got a bunch of apologies to make," he began, explaining that he was flying to Canada for his six-year-old son's school assembly. "I'm embarrassed that I'm not there, but I'm more embarrassed that I contemplated missing my son's grade one graduation and school play."

He went on to describe his email exchange with Redmond the night before. "I accepted his resignation as editor of the Guardian, effective immediately," Vogt said. "I didn't ask for his resignation, I didn't want him to resign. But it was Tim's decision."

"For 12 months, we let — I let — Tim run the Guardian pretty much hands off," he said, allowing that on a few seldom occasions, "I actually made demands, some of which Tim listened to, some of which Tim disregarded." Vogt went on to say that he, Redmond, Buel, and Brown had been meeting to discuss "very serious and significant changes" at the paper, which would have included staffing cuts.

"Up until yesterday at 4:30, I was under the impression ... that not only was Tim on side with those changes, Tim had actually recommended some of those changes, both staffing and otherwise," Vogt said. "So I'm not exactly sure what occurred, but whatever occurred yesterday that made Tim have a change of heart is really irrelevant at this point. So, uh, again you all know Tim, and you have known Tim longer than you've know me, and whether you choose to believe what I just said, at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter."

Vogt went on to say, "Last month, it became painfully apparent that we had to make some radical changes to the Guardian. Some of the changes ... were going to affect the editorial tone and position of the Guardian. We weren't going to do anything crazy, like Philip Anschutz the Guardian," referring to the Examiner's former right-wing owner, "but we definitely were going to look to make some changes, because obviously what we've been doing ... isn't resonating with advertisers, and I honestly don't believe it's resonating with readers."

He went on: "Whatever you heard yesterday with respect to layoffs, or freelancers no longer writing for the paper, all of those decisions that had been made collectively between Tim, myself, Steve, and Pat are off the table."

Going forward, he said, "I'm going to look to Marke [Bieschke, appointed interim editor], and Dulc [Vice President of Advertising Dulcinea Gonzalez], and Steve [Buel] to quickly come up with a plan of what we need to do ... to get the Guardian back on solid financial and, and sort of ideological footing, in the community. I know some of you heard that certain positions were going to be eliminated and there's likely going to be pissed off people and hard feelings, and for that I'm sorry. And I'm not saying... that there won't be layoffs. There may well indeed be."

Then Vogt opened up the discussion for "Questions, comments, you can tell me to go fuck myself. Whatever it is, now is the time."

Jones asked about how Redmond’s departure would be presented to the community, and what he meant by the change in editorial tone. "No disrespect to Bruce [Brugmann], but I think the editorial changes that need to happen at the paper need to reflect sort of, progressive — the new progressive — movement, the new progressive values," Vogt responded. "The feature that Tim wrote two weeks ago [on the future of planning in San Francisco], that's the kind of stuff that I think the Guardian should be. But if anybody around the table is looking or hoping that I'm the guy who's going to provide the editorial vision of what the Guardian's going to be, we're in serious shit. I've lived in the city for 18 months, and I'm the last guy who should be opining on what the Guardian ought to be."

Shrinking the Guardian

Guardian Culture Editor Caitlin Donohue severed ties to the newspaper shortly after the meeting. "I was just shocked that I was being told by intercom to disbelieve my editor and mentor of four years," Donohue said when asked for her response to the meeting.

In that meeting, Donohue accepted a voluntary layoff. "After the various idiocies of last week, I realized it was time to hit the ejector button, and started putting my energies towards building new media that actually had a chance of success," Donohue explained later via email.

With regard to Redmond's ouster, Donohue said, "Getting rid of Tim, and the others they told him were next, is part and parcel of the company's slice and dice attitude to their acquisitions. You can't run that paper after cutting nearly 50 percent of its editorial staff — or a good one, at least."

On Monday, Gonzalez also resigned from the Guardian, effective July 1, further reducing its advertising staff. She had no comment for this story, but Vogt called her departure “a huge blow.”

Vogt still insists that Redmond helped develop the plan to lay off two of the three people they discussed. Buel also said that particular staffers had been discussed in meetings among the four of them, although Buel said only supported two of the three cuts that Vogt insisted upon.

"He fully supported two of the three cuts until Thursday," Vogt said of Redmond. "Suddenly something happened on Thursday. I don't know whether it was a conscience thing, or a change of heart or mind."

Redmond denies that he supported any specific layoffs, telling us that he insisted on being the one to make decisions on who worked for the Guardian and that he wanted to broadly review the Guardian's expenses, including what the company was charging it for rent and printing the paper.

"Tim was simply more interested in the editorial side and the Guardian needed some business leadership," Buel said, noting that he conveyed that assessment to both Redmond and Vogt a couple months ago, not intending to be named publisher of the Guardian himself last week. "I said that not at all envisioning I would be the person to do that."

Redmond said that he was cut out of the loop on decisions that Vogt and other managers made to restructure the advertising sales team to have reps selling into all three products, which sources who have worked in the department say created dysfunction and diverted energies that hurt Guardian ad sales.

"They never asked me how the ad department should be set up," Redmond said.

And while Redmond and Buel both say he strongly advocated for more employees to be dedicated to selling the Guardian, Redmond found himself playing the same role he had played as executive editor under the previous ownership: reacting to the paper's financial fortunes by cutting costs.

The Guardian had seven full-time staff writers when Jones was hired in 2003, which Redmond whittled down to just one by the time the paper was sold, despite the Guardian winning a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the SF Weekly and the chain that owned it, Village Voice Media, for unfair competition and anti-competitive pricing.

"I recognized in May that Guardian sales were down and I was not opposed to the idea that we had to cut costs," Redmond told us, later adding, "I came back with two plans. One, sell me the Guardian, or two, tell me how much I need to cut."

Vogt didn't accept either idea, insisting Redmond lay off the staffers that he had identified. Whether that final standoff is seen as a straight business decision, a personality conflict, or a question of the autonomy of Redmond and the Guardian, it's certainly true that it was the last in a series of conflicts between the two men.

Internal friction

Friction between Vogt and the Guardian's newsroom had been building for some time, centered around a couple of issues: payment of tens of thousands of dollars in debts to freelance writers that Vogt assumed when taking over the Guardian, and Redmond's authority as editor/publisher of the Guardian.

While the terms of the Guardian's sale to Vogt's group haven't been made public, sources say there were a couple areas of disagreement that delayed Vogt's acceptance of his responsibility to pay the freelance debt, although that was settled earlier this year.

Guardian staffers who work directly with the freelancers consistently complained about the unpaid debt and the difficulties it created in working with writers, and Redmond insisted that he was trying to faciltate payment but that there was nothing he could directly do to help. A plan was supposedly developed to pay the debts, but as of today, the bulk of the past freelance debt remains unpaid.

"We didn't have a ton of free money to pay the debt owed under Bruce's leadership," Vogt told us, adding that the company has been slowly paying off that debt, including expediting payments to key freelancers "when Tim said it was important."

Vogt also began complaining to Redmond about specific writers in the paper that he didn't like. "I had made demands about certain freelancers, 'I don't want so and so writing for the paper,' and they were still in the paper."

Redmond maintains that it was his decision what appears in the Guardian, not Vogt's, and that he resisted the owner's suggestions to fire certain writers, including L.E. Leone, the Guardian's longtime Cheap Eats columnist — who often departed from restaurant coverage to touch on an array of social topics, including her own MTF gender reassignment process — who transitioned into a sports columnist earlier this year.

"I think it was the coolest thing in the world that we had a transgender sports columnist who was one of the best writers in San Francisco. Todd strongly disagreed," Redmond told us. In the wake of Redmond's ouster, Leone resigned from the Guardian on June 15.

A perhaps more significant conflict over control of the Guardian came during the fall election when Vogt clashed with Redmond and Jones over the supervisorial endorsement in District 5. First Vogt opposed endorsing Julian Davis, but ultimately made it clear that it was the Guardian's call. After Davis was hit with new sexual misconduct allegations and responded badly to the developments, the Guardian revoked the Davis endorsement.

We then contemplated endorsing Christina Olague — who had regained progressive favor after defying Mayor Ed Lee on a couple of high-profile issues — but Vogt refused to allow it.

"He told me his newspapers would not be endorsing Christina Olague," Redmond said, a point that Vogt confirmed, explaining only that he didn't want to revisit the D5 endorsement after the Davis debacle.

Redmond said that Vogt then "threatened to fire me" for running a pro-Olague op-ed from longtime queer activist Cleve Jones, despite Redmond's explanation that the Guardian oftens runs guest editorials during election season supporting candidates other than those endorsed by the Guardian.

In fairness, Vogt wouldn't be the first Guardian owner to buck the newsroom on a political endorsement. In the 2003 mayor's race, Brugmann at the last minute overrode the consensus endorsement choice of Tom Ammiano, instead insisting the paper endorse Angela Alioto, although an apologetic Redmond allowed staff to print a dissenting endorsement in favor of Ammiano.

Meanwhile, both Vogt and Buel have issued public statements following Redmond's ouster pledging to keep the Guardian operating as it always has.

Buel insists that he and Vogt have both allowed the Guardian to remain an independent, progressive voice throughout their tenure — something that he said is clear from the Guardian's strong and critical coverage of corporate power this year — and they intend to maintain that approach going forward.

"I think its editorial independence has remained intact," Buel told us, assuring Guardian readers that would continue even without Redmond at the helm. "All I'm saying is keep reading and see if we live up to what I'm saying."

Tim's San Francisco

The day news of Redmond's firing hit the Guardian newsroom, the ousted editor created a website titled "Tim's San Francisco" on blogspot.com and posted a statement about what had happened.

"Hi, my friends, all the people I love and care about in this city. I'm sad to announce that after 30 years, I have left the Bay Guardian," he wrote. "I am proud of all the work that we did over those years, but sadly, it has come to an end."

After briefly explaining the details of his departure, he added, "The good news is that Blogger is free, and I will fancy up this blog in the next couple days, and I will continue to present perspectives and news about progressive San Francisco."

In the days that followed, online comments on Facebook, sfbg.com, and Redmond's new blog demonstrated an outpouring of support from community members.

"The Bay Guardian has been a venerable source for progressive talk (and organizing) in San Francisco and the Bay Area for years," Media Alliance wrote. "Despite the paper's shrinking physical presence, it maintained an influential role in City Hall politics and the Bay Area progressive movement, largely thanks to Redmond's editorial presence."

Christopher Cook, a progressive journalist and former city editor at the Bay Guardian, expressed his outrage over Redmond's ouster in a Facebook post and had issued a call to action, writing, "As the paper would say, let's give them hell." Later, he wrote, "Folks, a critical progressive institution has been bought out and now gutted by this aggressive media corporation. Where's the protest and uproar?"

Brugmann also offered this statement to the Guardian: "Tim came to the Guardian 30 years ago as a reporter, specializing in politics and investigative reporting. Tim soon developed, in my estimation, into one of the finest all around editors in the country. He was largely responsible for making the Guardian the major progressive voice in San Francisco, a major force in Freedom of Information and public access issues throughout the state, and a national model for the alternative press throughout the country."

Redmond said he's been engaging in lots of discussions with the Guardian's community in recent days, exploring whether Vogt may still be persuaded to sell the paper, or looking at ways to start a new media vehicle for the Guardian's community.

"I do have to give Todd credit for buying the Guardian and keeping it alive this year," Redmond said, adding that he was disappointed that Vogt chose to "basically destroy the newsroom" rather than taking him up on his offer to buy back the newspaper or explore other ideas for making the Guardian sustainable.

As Redmond told us, "I'm looking at my options for ensuring progressive, independent journalism is alive in San Francisco."

 

Comments

obviously were on their way out regardless of whether Tim did it or someone else did it..

It's also not clear why Tim resisted changing the SFBG even while it was losing money and popularity, not least because the city's populace was moving more to the center and no longer wanted a socialist bias.

And finally it is not clear what happened to the $20 million war chest that SFBG supposedly won in a lawsuit. And why those funds could not have revitalized SFBG.

Any chance your "candid" journalism can answer those three massive questions?

Posted by anon on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

Any chance you'll post your real name? all you Billy Bad-asses that make anonymous posts that you expect real people to take seriously are a joke.

Posted by Jody McClain on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 7:39 am

Posting with a fake name is no different from posting as Guest.

In fact, it can be worse if it is used to pretend that there is more support and agreement among posters than there really is.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 9:48 am

You caught me - my real name is 'Guest'.

Please return to your hole now.

Posted by Jody McClain on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 11:45 am

with a name you just made up isn't any more reliable or meaningful than posting as "Guest".

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 11:52 am

whether or not you think i made up my name, you actually make a very good point. nothing posted on this or any comment section on any internet site anywhere is meaningful or reliable, which is why i generally try to refrain from reading any of this tripe and why i almost never join the ranks of the idiots that do post. today i have obviously sunken to your level, and using my real name doesn't make anything i say any more meaningful or reliable than what someone named 'Guest' says. the real shame is that i'll never get back the 5 minutes i wasted on this.

Posted by Jody McClain on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

and if that helped you understand the inherent anonymity of the internet, and what is overall a good thing, then your time was not wasted here.

Posted by anon on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

who ever is reading this testimony today should please celebrate with me and my family because it all started like a joke to some people and others said it was impossible. my name is Michael i live in Chicago i am happily married with two kids and a lovely wife something terrible happen to my family along the line, i lost my job and my wife packed out of my house because i was unable to take care of her and my kids at that particular time. i manage all through five years, no wife to support me to take care of the children and there come a faithful day that i will never forget in my life i met an old friend who i explain all my difficulties to, and he took me to a spell caster and and the name of the temple is called, okundonorgreatspell, i was assure that everything will be fine and my wife will come back to me after the wonderful work of okundonorgreatspell, my wife came back to me and today i am one of the richest man in my country. i advice you if you have any problem email him with this email: okundonorgreatspell@gmail.com and you will have the best result. take things for granted and it will be take from you. i wish you all the best.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

who ever is reading this testimony today should please celebrate with me and my family because it all started like a joke to some people and others said it was impossible. my name is Michael i live in Chicago i am happily married with two kids and a lovely wife something terrible happen to my family along the line, i lost my job and my wife packed out of my house because i was unable to take care of her and my kids at that particular time. i manage all through five years, no wife to support me to take care of the children and there come a faithful day that i will never forget in my life i met an old friend who i explain all my difficulties to, and he took me to a spell caster and and the name of the temple is called, okundonorgreatspell, i was assure that everything will be fine and my wife will come back to me after the wonderful work of okundonorgreatspell, my wife came back to me and today i am one of the richest man in my country. i advice you if you have any problem email him with this email: okundonorgreatspell@gmail.com and you will have the best result. take things for granted and it will be take from you. i wish you all the best.

Posted by michael on Jul. 01, 2013 @ 9:04 am

SFBG has been making money lately, and that is why there is such a problem here. Thanks, Vogt, for nothin'.

Posted by Guest Guest on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 8:33 am

He just didn't want to handle them personally.

Posted by anon on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 9:32 am

That's what I am picking up here.

Idealism rarely trumps realism and pragmatism.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

This is one of Todd Vogt's partners. David Holmes Black (born April 9, 1946), a native of Vancouver, founded and is the current owner of Black Press. The son of Alan and Adelaide Black, his family moved to Toronto, where he attended school. In college, Black studied engineering and obtained a master's degree in business administration. In 1973, Black found a job at the Toronto Star newspaper as an analyst. The company sent Black to various locations in North America where they operated subsidiary projects. Through his travels, Black learned about the newspaper trade and eventually purchased his own publication.

Black Press operates 120 community and daily newspapers and websites in British Columbia, Alberta, Washington State (Sound Publishing), San Francisco, Hawaii and Akron, Ohio.

Black's first newspaper acquisition was the Williams Lake Tribune in 1975, which he bought from his father and still owns under the Black Press envelope. Black's second acquisition was the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal. Black Press now owns other flagship community papers, such as the Victoria News, Surrey Leader, Peace Arch News, Kelowna Capital News, and the Abbotsford News.

On Aug. 17, 2012, Black announced he is putting forth a proposal to build a $13.2 billion oil refinery in Kitimat, B.C. with his company, Kitimat Clean Ltd. The refinery would serve the Northern Gateway pipeline, proposed by company Enbridge. Black said he would invest his own money (between $2 million and $3 million) for the environmental assessment.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

guy that a SF institution should be getting into bed with if relevance and prosperity is the keynote objective.

This change and development is looking very positive.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

"On Aug. 17, 2012, Black announced he is putting forth a proposal to build a $13.2 billion oil refinery in Kitimat, B.C. with his company, Kitimat Clean Ltd. The refinery would serve the Northern Gateway pipeline, proposed by company Enbridge. Black said he would invest his own money (between $2 million and $3 million) for the environmental assessment."

Aren't environmental assessment required by law? Isn't the profit going into this guys pocket. Do these cats do anything other than blow their own horn, get bootlickers like this to do it for them, claim to be alturistic in some goofy sense, and make money off others? So the Bay Guardian is now owned by the Oil Companies.

Posted by GuestLonesomebri on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

make tangential comments about Canadian law?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

So, this oil baron won't make any profits off his investment? Oh, those Canadians!

Posted by GuestLonesomebri on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:40 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

And grim.

Posted by AnnGarrison on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 9:50 am

Diversified business interests surely increases stability and durability, no?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 10:03 am

So does GE, one of the world's largest nuclear power corporations.

It is good for business interests to have the means to manage public opinion. And, in this case, to control political endorsements perceived to be made by a paper's editors.

Posted by AnnGarrison on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 10:19 am

the story to favor one side over another. Why else do people buy newspapers? That goes as much for Bruce as it does for Murdoch.

The challenge for any paper, and SFBG was at best only partially successful here, is to maintain some balance and objectivity, while gently expressing idea's and opinions.

If a paper runs roughshod over the facts, then nobody will believe the editorials. SFBG historically was too one-sided to gain a critical mass of support among the voters which is why, for instance, they always backed the loser in mayoral races.

Another criticism that can be leveled at SFBG is that they only talk to "their side". We need to hear from both sides and so a little input from corporations, landlords, investors etc. adds to the balance and credibility of the SFBG.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 10:26 am

Your first argument was that, "Diversified business interests surely increases stability."

That is certainly true for the diversified business interests, and owning the power to shape public opinion in the interests of big oil will certainly increase the stability for big oil interests.

Now you've got a different story: "balance and objectivity."

This is classic Bay Guardian trolling, which has prevented serious discussion in the paper's online comments sections for years.

Posted by AnnGarrison on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

owned by flighty pockets with no real business kudos i.e. the way bruce cut and run. The way to assure the SFBG is here to stay is to ensure that the owner has a solid, stable, secure fiscal backing.

It was precisely the business failures of the SFBg under Tim that ahs eld to this crisis of confidence, and now we need resolute, deep-pocketed leadership to see us through.

And if you really care about the quality of the discourse here Ann, then kindly do not accuse anyone and everyone who disagrees with you here as "trolling". That's beyond lame and only demonstrates intolerance and inflexibility on your part.

Posted by anon on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

Really? What a bone-headed way to start a new relationship. Whomever these new clowns are, way to kill a San Francisco institution, you pinheads.

The next time I walk by a newsstand and see a Guardian, I'll think twice about bothering to take a copy.

I'm sure your advertisers will be thrilled with reader feedback like this. Not.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

Dealing with adversity is a classic test of real character, and I'd have to say that the dynamic (or should I say, residual) duo have failed the test here.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:15 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

No, neither owner Todd Vogt nor publisher Steve Buel, who encouraged us to cover Tim's departure, previewed this story even though I interviewed them and they were aware it was coming out. It is against Guardian policy to let sources preview stories. I'm personally grateful for the chance to cover the story without interference and it makes me hopeful that the Guardian can survive the loss of Tim Redmond and remain an independent, progressive voice in San Francisco, although I suppose time will tell.

Posted by steven on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

Typical behavior by the man (men) last standing.

You want to hold onto that paycheck, no matter how bad the situation has devolved.

Posted by Ralph Waldo on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

And Tim's stand on principle was quixotic. The three staffers were going anyway and could not be saved, so all Tim was get himself fired for nothing.

Why would Steven do the same?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 9:46 am

The Guardian's endorsements have arguably been their greatest influence in San Francisco for a long time.

So, if you stay, I suggest you make it clear that the Guardian's publisher, not its editors, has the final say in those endorsements.

Posted by AnnGarrison on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 9:59 am

That implies people mindlessly vote the way SFBG tells them to.

Can you quantify that with facts and figures?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 10:13 am

I didn't say I could prove it. No one can quantify the impact of particular endorsements. I said it's arguable, and I'm arguing from experience.

While living in San Francisco for over 20 years, I became aware of many people who paid little attention to local politics, though they identified as liberal leftish, progressive, or some such. When it came time to vote, they usually knew how they were going to vote in federal elections, but ran out to get a Guardian and follow its City and state voter guide. I was one of those people for quite a few years before I began to pay closer attention, to review multiple endorsements, and most often to go with the endorsements of the San Francisco Green Party.

When I was still in the habit of voting the Guardian ticket locally, it was often difficult to find a Guardian left on the racks on election day, because so many people were grabbing them before going to the polls.

Posted by AnnGarrison on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 10:52 am

reliable indicator of how NOT to vote. Could be those SFBG's were flying out of the racks for a very different reason . .

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 11:21 am
Posted by AnnGarrison on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

The lowest common denominator, perhaps? Nobody gets everything they want, but nobody loses everything either. Isn't that how politics and the spirit of compromise is supposed to work?

Posted by anon on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

That is not consensus. That is an order, from the top, from Vogt. The paper should have made that clear.

Posted by AnnGarrison on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

the opinions of the person who is paying all the bills and signing all the checks, then I would categorize that notion as exceedingly naive.

Do you really think that Bruce didn't review the SFBG endorsements before permitting them?

Posted by anon on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

as voters picked them up to review the detailed analyses -- and not just so they could snip out the slate card printed on the cover... though it was convenient and easy to fold and scribble on.

I will echo your opinion as the Guardian's opinions have had great influence on my voting in the past... and not as reliably of late.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 12:05 am

...isn't absolute. You presented a false dichotomy. The Guardians influences, negatively and positively, but not absolutely.

Posted by Hortencia on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 10:46 am

"I've got a bunch of apologies to make," he began, explaining that he was flying to Canada for his six-year-old son's school assembly. "I'm embarassed that I'm not there, but I'm more embarassed that I contemplated missing my son's grade one graduation and school play."

What a putz, hiding behind his child. This is all I know about the guy, and it speaks volumns. Working people never miss important family events, right. What a putz.

Posted by GuestLonesomebri on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

And did it occur to you that Redmond was doomed every which way to Sunday, meaning that his actual departure was a minor detail for a global media magnate?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

Using family, especially children, as a cover while doing bad things might be noble to you and global media magnates, but it smells to us regular folks. This has nothing to do with family and everything to do with blowing smoke up....

Posted by GuestLonesomebri on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

I see no reason why others should be held to a different standard.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

Who is putting their family out as an excuse and cover?

Posted by GuestLonesomebri on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

Senior executives fire people all the time. It's not a biggie.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

So why do we even hear about this guy's kid? First grade graduation? Who cares? He is trying to humanize himself, make himself look compassionate, a family man, like the Nixon's Checkers speech. These guys fire people all the time but still have to live with themselves, and prefer to come off as "good" people.

Posted by GuestLonesomebri on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

had to go. What Vogt was doing the following week-end is irrelevant, as was what Tim was doing.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

"I've got a bunch of apologies to make," he began, explaining that he was flying to Canada for his six-year-old son's school assembly. "I'm embarassed that I'm not there, but I'm more embarassed that I contemplated missing my son's grade one graduation and school play."

So Vogt hides behind his own child when making untough choices. What a man, and this is all I know about him, or need to. He has to fly to Canada....no time to work....it's for the kids, dontcha know. You're fired. So, as a businessman, this is how he operates? He has important family concerns, unlike the little people.

Posted by GuestLonesomebri on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

That's the crucial and critical observation right there, Steven.

If advertizers are put off by SFBG's strident socialism then they will simply go elsewhere. Which leaves SFBG dependent on hooker ad's - hardly a credible business model.

But perhaps even worse is how out of touch SFBG has become with the SF electorate. How can the SFBG endorse an anti-jobs Mayor like Avalos when they know that every poll shows jobs as the #1 issue with SF voters?

SFBG needs to listen to it's constituency rather than tell them what they should be thinking. If it wants to survive anyway.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

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