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Friday, September 17, 2021

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UncategorizedSF Weekly editor fired as paper reportedly shifts more...

SF Weekly editor fired as paper reportedly shifts more to entertainment

Ousted SF Weekly editor Brandon Reynolds
Ousted SF Weekly editor Brandon Reynolds

By Tim Redmond

JANUARY 14 — The longtime editor of SF Weekly was just fired in a move that suggests the Canadian owners want more of an entertainment focus at the city’s last alternative paper.

I am awaiting a statement from management at the SF Media Co, which owns both the Examiner and the Weekly and is owned by Black Press.

But there’s lots floating around in this small media world; you can’t make a move at a newspaper in SF without word getting out. And what I’m hearing is that Brandon Reynolds didn’t get along with management (neither did I way back when, though different management) – and that the people who run the two papers see the Examiner as more of the news outlet and want the Weekly to be more focused on arts and entertainment.

Weekly newspapers have always done both news and arts, and typically done both well. But news was always a critical element – and for all the times I’ve blasted the Weekly and its politics, the paper spent money on journalists and on investigative reporting.

Reynolds and I were never close. For a while we worked in the same office, but he took a Village Voice Media approach to the news, which was often cynical about the left, and I was (and am) a proud progressive.

I never met him for lunch or drinks, never saw him outside the occasional pass in the hallway. I don’t even have his phone number. But he had a reputation as a skilled editor, and you could see that in the clean copy the paper produced, and he cared about news.

If the Weekly moves more in the A&E direction, it will be one less news voice in the city at a time when there are so few paid reporters covering local issues.

And it’s interesting that the SF Media Co. is moving this way. First the company shut down the Bay Guardian, which was the leading progressive news outlet in the city for 47 years. Now they’re apparently shifting the focus of the Weekly.

Nobody from SF Media Co responded to my voice mail and email tonight.


Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. Weekly never had it, really. But entertainment is the #1 activity of Americans, and has become the central meaning of “The American Dream” now that individuals cannot progress or buy a house blah blah blah.

  2. Weekly never had it, really. But entertainment is the #1 activity of Americans, and has become the central meaning of “The American Dream” now that individuals cannot progress or buy a house blah blah blah.

  3. I tried to find out what the big deal about Peskin is, and all I could come up with was this. I’ve no idea why the assessments for the property went up and down, but no one else claims they do either: it seems to me like he bought the building during the real estate crisis and got a good deal.

  4. “You have such a track record of rank opportunism here”

    You have a track record of leveling unsubstantiated personal attacks here, not to mention constantly repeating FOX News talking points.

    Repeating it ad nauseum does not make it true.

  5. Greg, not allowing someone to leave your vehicle can be charged as kidnapping, which can also attract terrorism charges. In fact I was told by someone at the DA’s department that terror charges are now sometimes included in DV charges.

    If you think about it, hitting someone is bad enough, but at least they have the possibility of leaving the scene. If you power lock the doors on a vehicle, you have effectively trapped the other party, and that is worse.

    You have such a track record of rank opportunism here that I am afraid you do not get the benefit of any doubt. You support Mirk’s violent actions only because you support his bankrupt left-wing ideology. And if it were Lee, Chiu or Wiener, you’d be besides yourself with outrage.

    Utter hypocrisy, and guilty as charged.

  6. I don’t know, KnowsBetter. I don’t speak for all progressives. But I don’t think you’ve ever heard me advocate that someone who turns their car around in an argument or grabs someone’s arm, should lose their job for that, go to jail, have their kids taken away, and have their life completely ruined.

    Someone who sends their partner to the hospital, like Police Commissioner Julius Turman… sure. But that’s because what he did was much, much worse, not because he’s conservative and Ross is progressive.

    The real hypocrisy is those moderates who howl about Mirkarmi but close their eyes to real DV perps like Turman.

  7. Greg, you’re demonstrating my original point here. You know very well that progressives would be screaming over what both Peskin and Mirkarimi did if it had been, say, Scott Wiener instead.

  8. I’ll take the sight of Greg supporting those who buy RE in the names of others to hide their true intent as “success” and move on.

    Although even I will concede that mindless support for a DV perp is better. The slap-meister’s re-election bid is going to be highly entertaining.

    Will his probation be over by then? I’m guessing so, since the sheriff is in charge of the probation service. Oops.

  9. “Kim wanted to be the head of the BofS but she could not garner the necessary support because of MirkGate.”

    There is no “gate” there. The board has moved well to the right of Kim, that’s all. It’s OK though. Breed is a one-termer.

    “Perp” is short for perpetrator of a crime and is standard language in LE discussions.”

    Callous assholes and LE are hardly mutually exclusive. Other standard LE terms include “NHI,” or “no humans involved.” This is a term that cops use when someone murders another person who belongs to a group they don’t like -sex workers, black people, homeless, etc. In such cases, cops consider neither the victim nor the perpetrator “human,” and generally give those cases low priority.

    “I never said Peskin did anything illegal. I said he did something sleazy”

    Oh, Ok. So even you admit that there’s no corruption involved, because corruption would be illegal. So basically he got a good deal on a house.

    Why do you hate successful people?

  10. ttt, when you are a political extremist like greg, it dominates your life, and everything is seen through the prism of your extremism.

    So if your guy bitch slaps his wife, you forgive him and blame a witch-hunt. But if Ed Lee had bitch slapped his wife and picked up a DV rap, Greg would be howling for impeachment.

    Hypocrisy is an essential element for an extremist. A perp is not a perp as long as he is your perp.

  11. Greg, Kim wanted to be the head of the BofS but she could not garner the necessary support because of MirkGate. I’ll agree she suffered less than Olague and Campos, but it still had an effect.

    “Perp” is short for perpetrator of a crime and is standard language in LE discussions. I thought you claimed to be au fait in such matters.

    I never said Peskin did anything illegal. I said he did something sleazy, which was the original allegation made.

    Why do you always back losers?

  12. Greg

    Why do you want or need your music news and reviews passed through the progressive filter, you can’t stand any media that doesn’t reflect your politics?

  13. “Perp” is a stupid term mouthed by callous assholes. The DV attacks probably backfired against Campos and made the race closer than it would’ve been. Olague paid for her disloyalty. By the time of the election neither side trusted her anymore. The lesson is that people can see through politicians who try to straddle the fence. Kim? I don’t see any negative consequences for Kim at all.

    And if you have proof that Peskin did something illegal, let’s see it. Put up or shut up.

  14. Greg, the SFSD monitors DV perps and we have a DV perp running it. Only you can’t see the problem there. Here’s a clue, ask Olague, Campos and Kim, who have all paid for their pro-DV votes.

    I have nothing against someone making a buck out of RE. I do have a problem when they are an elected official who puts the deal in his parents name to try and hide it.

  15. Of course it won’t save them. Selling out your soul and values never does. That’s the lesson of the corporate world. Brandon-with-the-hipster-hairdo was a loyal corporate lackey churning out cynical pieces about the left for management like a good dog, in the hopes that they’d throw him a bone and a few scraps off their table now and then. Instead, the corporate masters threw him out in the cold. Maybe it will radicalize him.

  16. Nobody bitch-slapped anyone. The entire extent of Ross Mirkarimi’s wrongdoing appears to be that he grabbed his wife’s arm once. Oh, and he turned the car around during an argument. Pure political bullshit to turn that into a federal case.

    As for Peskin, the worst I’ve heard is that he got a good deal on his house. Call the swat team! Dangerous criminal on the loose!

  17. Don’t play dumb, Greg. Mirk bitch-slapped his wife and is a DV perp, while Peskin did a shady real estate deal and tried to hide it by putting the property in his parents’ name.

    Both have anger issues.

  18. The word “moderate” is used a fig leaf where economic conservatives conceal their right wing policies their limited liberal social values because San Franciscans do not consider themselves economic conservatives.

  19. Maybe. Or maybe SF really doesn’t need even one weekly paper now that we can all read things like 48 hills and SFist online.

    (Not that SFist doesn’t suck even worse).

  20. What’s interesting is the way that the SFBG writers who were “saved” and hired by SFWeekly have changed their style and substance.

    For instance, with SFBG Emma Silvers would rarely write about a music show without slipping a race card in there somewhere. She doesn’t do that any more, presumably under direction.

    While Joe Rodriguez has been reduced to writing about things like video games rather than the leftie stuff he routinely churned out under Jones’ watch.

    I guess you could say they sold out and it still might not save them

  21. What kind of “sleazy crap” did Peskin or MIrkarimi do? They’ve both done pretty good jobs from what I understand.

    I don’t see anyone agitating that the “banhammer” be “generously” applied. Rather, a judicial use of the banscalpel would do a lot to engineer the sort of community that one finds over at The Stranger.

    Not sure about the housing density issue. The left isn’t necessarily against that. I don’t think it’s appropriate in San Francisco, because these sorts of developer initiatives tend to destroy neighborhood character. Some of these projects are also inappropriate for earthquake zones. And the way they’re being proposed has already made traffic patterns much worse. But they may be appropriate in Seattle -I haven’t studied Seattle’s peculiarities well enough to make an informed comment.

  22. These Canadian owners have really sunk the ship! Whoever is running that place now, has his egotistical head up his ass!

  23. SFBG gone, sfweekly, maybe going..
    Who will report on the following, then..it gets worse, but that would be the job of a journalist. Any here?
    Sent To Milk Club:
    Did you know that you are associated with a major funder and activist in the right wing war on the LGBT Community and labor? Right under your nose. So, here are a few organizations this person holds leadership roles in: The Gathering (can you say National Christian Foundation? Hobby Lobby? SCOTT LIVELY!), Hume Lake Christian Camp (conversion therapy anyone?), Biola University (Biola Queer Underground, suppressed) Oh, and did you know this man’s company gave a lot of money to a Christian Coalition Candidate in Lake Forest, CA. ? Seriously, does anyone at the Milk Club vet people and companies like this before accepting their donations and support? OK, a clue for you all: Trumark Urban (subsid of Trumark Companies) CEO Michael Maples. Check it yourself.
    They toss money everywhere, and nobody asks the question

  24. I only started reading when I saw an article about Whole Foods here linked from some other place.

    I just assumed the disco on fire was an attempt at the whole one stop package. I think you are reading too much into it. Tim probably just sees it as a way of staying relevant.

    “It’s what the kids are into today”

    Having lived through disco the first time around I will stick with ACDC and The Damned. That music doesn’t give me anxiety from the 250 beats per minute and the coked out babble.

  25. Ordinarily I would agree with you. But in SF the word “moderate” is used to try and tar people of reasonable centrist majority opinions as some kind of right-wing extremist.

    The word “moderate” gets used as an insult, much in the same ridiculous way that the word “white” has also come to mean, even when (or perhaps especially when) the speaker is white.

    If you in the leftmost one percent, like Greg, then almost everyone appears to be a fascist.

  26. Eh, I’m not sure you got my point. The Stranger’s virtue is in their loyalty to the city and some basic principles over specific people or policy. In the past, they’ve opposed initiatives that the left generally loved. They supported Sawant, but consciously support moderate candidates when they feel the leftist option is clueless or untrustworthy.

    Meanwhile, over in SF, the progressive media will generally defend the Peskins and Mirkarimis no matter what sleazy crap they do, simply because they are Their Guys.

    And the Stranger’s comments section has never really been free of trolls – they’ve just been pretty good at engineering a community that allows for plenty of civil but spirited argument. Most of the posters here demanding that the banhammer be generously applied to their opponents wouldn’t be happy in that environment either.

  27. I don’t agree with you often, but for once I think you’re spot on. They also found the right blend of allowing free expression/ moderation of comments, and as a result they’re free of trolls even when controversial issues come up.

    I was checking in with them almost daily during the recount that Socialist Kshama Sawant eventually won. Because of that skepticism of blind partisanship and dogma that you mentioned, they supported the Sawant, as did most of their readership, against a political establishment and media which firmly backed her Democratic opponent. But it was their management of comments that really impressed me. I told the Guardian they should take some lessons from The Stranger on how to manage the comments section, but I guess the SFBG had other plans.

  28. I assumed the sudden infusion of articles by Marke here as indicative that Tim needs more readers and eyeballs to sustain his ad cashflow, and there just aren’t enough political types here to sustain it. So he targets the party crowd.

    I don’t know how much disposable income the average nightclub-goer has, but you can’t blame a guy for trying. Isn’t 48 Hills doing exactly what Tim is criticizing SFWeekly for?

    I have nothing against Marke’s articles. I cannot usually understand a word of what he is talking about, and I like that in an odd way.

    As an aside, I never read SFWeekly but did read SFBG, even though my politics are moderate. It’s helpful to understand what your class enemies are thinking.

  29. That the Weekly actually printed well researched articles instead of agitprop was probably why it is still around and the other peper is not.

    If they are going to being a “whats happening” mag, like the disco columns here. The end is near.

  30. So Redmond ran the SFBG from a venerable thick paper rife with political reporting down to a thin, slim waft of a paper laden with entertainment and advertising and denounces the shift to focus from the substance of Joe Eshkenazi’s work to work similar to that of Marke B.

    It is only bad when “The Others” do it, when Redmond’s “In Group” does something, by definition, it is always correct.

  31. Jeez, this is not good. I have followed the doings of SFMC since they came to town. While they were getting started here there was a certain amount of stability. But I guess they weren’t making enough money and that’s the bottom line in the corporate world. When the newspaper(s) become the story you know you’re in trouble. Let’s hope things settle down because they are sorely needed in San Francisco, which is trending more and more towards a one-newspaper city.

  32. I liked The Snitch and other snarky fun stuff there. What is the point of this SF Media Co? It sounds like they’re just killing papers. As a reminder, I remember the owner of SFMC seemed pretty leftwing, yet, he’s shutting papers. Am I wrong Tim? Wasn’t it better when the Examiner was in the hands of the RW guy? Seriously.

    As an aside I was just reading about the issues the NYT has, on Bloomberg’s online newspaper. IMHO, that entire flock of Ochs-Sulzbergers needs to sell it to someone that will take care of it. There are nothing but scamming greedy trustfunders that mostly do not work for the NYT and the Ochs-Sulzberger (& cousin Golden) are driving it into the ground.

    NYO on it

    BB on the recent events, but again, read the comment section

  33. The Stranger is a true gem. It’s the right journalistic blend that neither the Bay Guardian nor the Weekly ever found: firmly to the left, but sufficiently skeptical of blind partisanship and dogma.

  34. The Arts, Entertainment, News & Politics were always secondary…almost an afterthought to the one and only thing they really cared about. $$Advertising Overload on Ads. In Fact, wasn’t the SF Bay Guardian gazillion dollar lawsuit against SF Weekly only about $$Ads?? Take out the ads and you wouldn’t have a so-called newspaper… you’d have a “pamphlet” maybe even a two page “Flyer.”

  35. The Weakly’s gone? Meh. I don’t think anyone will notice any more than I did.

    Anyway, sounds like this Brandon dude learned a valuable lesson about corporate values. Nice hipster hairdo, btw.

  36. I had a feeling that something akin to what happened at SFBG had happened when I found last week’s issue still in the stand outside the Ocean Beach Safeway today, and no new issues at all in the stand at the nearby MUNI stop, nor at the stand outside the 7-11 at 46th and Judah.

  37. The Weekly was cynical about politics in general. The relation between it and the SFBG always looked to me like the bully trying to humiliate the nerd. Even Eskenazy was part of this smarminess when he started, though eventually he became a worthwhile reporter.
    This can’t be good for the Weekly. Doesn’t look like the publisher has an idea on how to make a weekly paper thrive (as the East Bay Express or the Seattle Stranger do).

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