SF Weekly

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SF Weekly
SF Weekly (front page).jpg
Type Alternative weekly
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) San Francisco Media Co.
Editor Brandon R. Reynolds
Founded mid-1980s
Language English
Headquarters 225 Bush Street
17th Floor
San Francisco, California 94104
Circulation 65,000 (2013)[1]
Official website www.sfweekly.com

SF Weekly is a free alternative weekly newspaper in San Francisco, California. The newspaper, distributed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area every Wednesday, is published by the San Francisco Newspaper Company. Founded locally in the mid-1980s and bought by Village Voice Media (then New Times Media) in 1995, SF Weekly has garnered notable national journalism awards.[2][3] The paper sponsored the SF Weekly Music Awards, also known as the "Wammies."

In September 2012, Village Voice Media executives Scott Tobias, Christine Brennan and Jeff Mars bought Village Voice Media's papers and associated web properties from its founders and formed Voice Media Group.[4] Four months later, SF Weekly was sold to The San Francisco Media Company, owners of The San Francisco Examiner and long-time rivals San Francisco Bay Guardian,[5] giving the publishers control of three of the four major English-language newspapers in San Francisco.[6] In 2014, San Francisco Media Co. became fully owned by Black Press.[7][8]


  • News: includes local, regional and sometimes statewide short and longform news stories.
  • Arts and Entertainment: includes a weekly calendar, city events listings, a music section with a weekly music column, several music features, show previews, and CD reviews. The section also includes a bi-monthly Books and Arts section, a food column, film reviews, theater reviews, the bar and cocktail column Distillations, as well as Dan Savage's syndicated sex advice column Savage Love, and astrology chart Free Will Astrology.
  • Online Offerings: The Snitch news blog, All Shook Down music blog, the SFoodie food blog, and The Exhibitionist arts blog. All offer daily news and posts.


SF Weekly newsstand.

Armenian Genocide[edit]

With an October 30, 2007 Op-Ed blog entitled "SF's Needs to Kill Its Armenian Genocide Resolution", Benjamin Wachs stirred controversy due to remarks deemed to be extremely offensive by descendants of survivors of the genocide by pondering what gift would most appropriate for his girlfriend to celebrate Armenian Genocide Day.[9] The Weekly's former web editor David Downs responded by musing "If there was a genocide, then why is there so many left of you around to bitch?"[10]


The SF Weekly was the subject of ethical controversy in Jan., 2006, when a column about the AVN porn awards misidentified the event's location and honorees. The paper's editor had apparently altered a column about a different event from years before.[11][12]

Bay Guardian Company, Inc. v SF Weekly, et al.[edit]

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, another free alternative weekly newspaper distributed every Wednesday in the San Francisco Bay Area, sued SF Weekly in civil court, alleging that it tried to put the Bay Guardian out of business by selling ads below cost. The Guardian won the suit in March, 2008, and was granted a $6.2 million in damages, a figure that swelled to $21 million with antitrust penalties and interest by June 2010. After the verdict, the Guardian obtained court orders allowing it to seize and sell the Weekly′s two delivery trucks and collect half of the Weekly′s ad revenue.[13]


SF Weekly currently occupies the 17th floor of 225 Bush Street. Previous locations included Suite 710 in the 55 Francisco Street building,[14] Suite 3800 of 145 Natoma Street and 425 Brannan Street.


Association of Alternative Newsweeklies
  • 2002: Investigative Reporting: (Above 54,000) 1st Place: "Fallout" by Lisa Davis and John Mecklin, SF Weekly
  • 2004: Investigative Reporting: (Above 50,000) 1st Place (tie): "Death, Maiming, Money, and Muni" by Peter Byrne, SF Weekly
  • 2004: News Story: (Above 50,000) 1st Place: Lisa Davis, SF Weekly
  • 2008: Cover Design: (Above 50,000) 1st Place: Darrick Rainey, "Wheelchairs of Fortune" July 25 2007; "Just Say No" May 23 2007, "Future Games" April 27 2007, SF Weekly
  • 2009: News Story: (Above 50,000) 1st Place: "Snitch" by Ashley Harrell, SF Weekly
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
  • 2009: Humor: 1st Place: Katy St. Clair, Bouncer


  1. ^ ABC
  2. ^ Vane, Sharyn (November 1998). "Consider the Alternative". American Journalism Review. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ Richard Siklos (October 24, 2005). "The Village Voice, Pushing 50, Prepares to Be Sold to a Chain of Weeklies". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Village Voice Media Execs Acquire The Company’s Famed Alt Weeklies, Form New Holding Company". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "SF Weekly purchased by parent company of San Francisco Examiner". San Francisco Examiner. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  6. ^ Andrew S. Ross (9 January 2013). "SF Weekly, Bay Guardian have same owner". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  7. ^ Eskenazi, Joe (2014-05-06). "Todd Vogt, San Francisco Print Media Company President, Likely to Sell SF Weekly, Bay Guardian, Examiner". SF Weekly. Retrieved 2014-10-15. 
  8. ^ Dudnick, Laura (2014-07-02). "New publisher named for San Francisco Media Co.". The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2014-10-15. 
  9. ^ Benjamin Wachs (30 October 2007). "SF's Needs to Kill Its Armenian Genocide Resolution". SF Weekly. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  10. ^ David Downs (16 November 2007). "Your Friday Morning Pre-Party: Boobs, Barry, Busan, and ... BoldWarKids". SF Weekly. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  11. ^ Tali Woodward (13 July 2006). "Porn story Puzzle: Behind the Infiltrator Mess at SF Weekly". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  12. ^ SFist Jackson (18 January 2006). "Did the SF Weekly Scapegoat Harmon Leon". SFist. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  13. ^ Bob Egelko (14 June 2010). "SF Weekly wants Guardian's damage award tossed". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  14. ^ "Contact Us." SF Weekly. Retrieved on March 3, 2012. "Address: 55 Francisco St. Suite 710, San Francisco, CA 94133"

External links[edit]

This article is about the Canadian publishing company. For the African American media organization, see Historical Black Press Foundation.
Black Press Group Ltd.
Type Private
Industry Newspapers
Founded 1975
Headquarters 818 Broughton Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Area served Alberta, British Columbia, Hawaii, Ohio and Washington state
Key people David Holmes Black, CEO
Rick O'Connor, COO
Products Akron Beacon Journal, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, five other daily newspapers and more than 100 weekly newspapers
Parent David Holmes Black (80%)
Torstar (20%)
Subsidiaries Oahu Publishing Company, Sound Publications
Website www.blackpress.ca

Black Press Group Ltd. is a Canadian privately owned publisher of prominent daily newspapers in Hawaii and Ohio, United States, and numerous weekly newspapers in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, and the U.S. state of Washington. Black Press is headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia.

It is currently administered and majority owned by David Holmes Black (no relation to Canadian-born media mogul Conrad Black). The company is 20% owned by Torstar, publisher of the Toronto Star and David Black's former employer.


After working as a junior business analyst for the Toronto Star, Black purchased the Williams Lake Tribune of Williams Lake, British Columbia, from his father, Alan, in 1975. He bought a family-run newspaper in nearby Ashcroft in 1979, and his holdings expanded "exponentially" in the ensuing years.[1]

There was never a big plan to get big. It's just that another opportunity would come over the hill. Usually an independent would phone, wanting to retire or sell out, asking if we were interested in buying them.[1]

—David Black

Though Black Press has focused its acquisitions mainly on building a province-wide network of community newspapers in British Columbia, and a similar operation (called Sound Publishing) across the border in Washington, the company has also invested in individual marquee daily products. In 2000, Black purchased the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of Hawaii[1] (later merged with the competing Honolulu Advertiser, which Black bought in 2010). In 2006, the company acquired the Akron Beacon Journal, the former Knight Ridder flagship in Northeast Ohio.

On June 27, 2007, Black Press announced a $405 million takeover offer for Osprey Media, putting it in competition with Quebecor Media for Osprey's assets. Quebecor subsequently put in a higher bid and won ownership of Osprey.

In 2011, David Black was one of several newspaper industry veterans who joined together as investors in the San Francisco Newspaper Company to buy the former Hearst flagship The San Francisco Examiner, now a free daily newspaper. Although the transaction was initially reported as a purchase for Black Press, David Black participated as a private investor and holds his shares in the Examiner separately from Black Press.[2]

Daily newspapers[edit]

Black Press owns three major metropolitan daily newspapers in the United States, and several dailies as part of its community newspaper chains in the Canadian and U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Major dailies[edit]

Community dailies[edit]

Defunct dailies[edit]

Community newspapers[edit]

Black Press is the largest publisher of newspapers in British Columbia[6] and in Washington state.[1] It also owns several weeklies associated with its daily properties in Alberta and Hawaii.


Black Press owns the daily Red Deer Advocate and several neighboring weekly newspapers in Central Alberta, in addition to various local tourism and lifestyle publications. Newspapers in Black's Prairie Division are:[7]

British Columbia[edit]

Black's original acquisitions form the core of the 320,552-circulation BC Interior Division, whose holdings extend 1,360 km from Trail near the Washington border to Smithers near the southern tip of Alaska. The wine country publications Grapes to Wine and Wine Trails are also part of this group. Following is a list of the group's community newspapers, most of which are biweekly, weekly, semiweekly or thrice-weekly, although the group also includes three small daily newspapers in Trail, Cranbrook and Kimberley:[8]

Publications in Black's BC Lower Mainland Division circulate a total of 568,200 copies per week in the Vancouver area. This group includes the Chilliwack Progress, founded in 1891, which claims to be the oldest Canadian community newspaper continuously published under the same name. The group includes the lifestyle and real estate publications Indulge Magazine, New Home Living, New Local Home, North Shore Real Estate, and the following community newspapers:[9]

The BC Vancouver Island Division includes the entertainment weekly Where Magazine and Real Estate Victoria, both covering Victoria, British Columbia and vicinity, and the following community newspapers:[10]

Hawaii and California[edit]

In addition to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the largest daily newspaper in Hawaii, Black Press' subsidiary Oahu Publishing Inc. also community newspapers, the entertainment weekly MidWeek, HILuxury magazine, and prints military newspapers for U.S. bases in Hawaii. Oahu Publishing took full ownership of the San Francisco Media Company in 2014.


Sound Publishing Inc., a subsidiary of Black Press based in Poulsbo, Washington, is the largest community news publisher by circulation in the state of Washington.[11] The company's holdings include two daily newspapers, The Herald and the Peninsula Daily News, as well as the Tacoma Daily Index government listings publication; The Bellingham Business Journal; the Little Nickel and Nickel Ads classified listings; the military publications Kitsap Navy News and Whidbey Crosswind; The Bellevue Scene magazine; and Recreationland, a tourist guide. All of Sound Publications' products are printed at a central press plant in Everett, Washington. Community newspapers owned by Sound Publishing are:[12]

Online Classifieds[edit]


In 2007[13] the Black Press purchased UsedEverywhere.com[14] a Canadian online classified website with popular sites in Victoria, B.C., P.E.I, and Ottawa, ON.


Nisga'a Treaty editorials[edit]

n 1998, company owner David Black instructed his British Columbia papers to publish a series of editorials opposing the Nisga'a Treaty, which was the first modern treaty in B.C. history, and not to publish editorials in favour of the treaty.

In January 1999, the NDP government filed a complaint to the B.C. Press Council against Black Press, arguing that its policy breached its duty to act in the public interest and violated the council's constitution. Black Press said that news coverage was not affected and editors were free to publish their opinions on their letters page.

The Press Council sided with Black Press based on finding that its newspapers "did in fact carry a diversity of opinion on the Nisga'a Treaty, including those of Premier Glen Clark, Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell, Reform Party President Bill Vander Zalm as well as those of ordinary British Columbians".[15]

Advertiser concerns[edit]

In August 2007, a story in the Victoria News sparked a complaint from an advertiser and led to the firing/resignation of three senior Black Press employees. Victoria News reporter Brennan Clarke quit the publication after a story he wrote about buying cheaper cars in the United States led to a complaint from Victoria car dealership Dave Wheaton Pontiac Buick GMC. Black Press claimed the article was not balanced, and said that reporters and editors should not purposely jeopardize advertising revenue with their stories, because that revenue pays their salaries. The company also fired the Victoria News long-time editor, Keith Norbury, in part because of the complaint, and Black Press's Vancouver Island Newsgroup regional editor, Brian Lepine, resigned in protest.[16][17] The Canadian Association of Journalists publicly questioned the credibility and independence of the Victoria News, wondering how many stories Black Press kills behind the scenes because of advertising concerns.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Ward, Don (July 16, 2008). "Betting on David Black". Seattle Weekly (Seattle, Wash.). Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ "San Francisco Examiner Sold to Black Press Group". The San Francisco Examiner. November 11, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Schaefers, Allison (June 7, 2010). "Star-Advertiser Owner Known for Embracing Risk". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ James, Andrea (December 28, 2006). "King County Journal to Close". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Field, Terry (July 15, 2010). "Closing of Two Small BC Dailies is Good Business, New Owners Say". Troy Media (Calgary, Alta.). Retrieved March 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Black Picks up Two B.C. Dailies". Vernon Morning Star (Vernon, B.C.). July 27, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Black Press Acquires More Central Alberta Publications". Red Deer Advocate (Red Deer, Alta.). June 23, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Black Press/BC Interior North & South". BlackPress.ca. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Black Press/Lower Mainland". BlackPress.ca. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Black Press/Vancouver Island". BlackPress.ca. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Sequim Newspaper Sells to Sound Publishing". Bremerton Patriot. November 1, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Sound Publishing Products". SoundPublishing.com. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  13. ^ http://www.blackpress.ca/history.php
  14. ^ http://www.usedeverywhere.com/about/a-brief-history/
  15. ^ Smith, Charlie (March 4, 2010). "Black Press-owned Web site upsets Grand Chief David Harper with racist ad". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ Public Eye Online - Black on Black
  17. ^ Lupick, Travis (Aug 29, 2007). "Black press dogged by ad controversy". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Public Eye Online - A question of credibility

External links[edit]