AAN News

Class-Action Suit Alleges Yelp is Running an 'Extortion Scheme'new

Two law firms have filed a class action lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court alleging unfair business practices by the popular user-generated review site. The suit's plaintiff, a veterinary hospital, allegedly requested Yelp remove a negative review from the website. The suit says the company refused to do so, a move that was followed by repeated calls from Yelp sales reps demanding payments of roughly $300 per month in exchange for hiding or deleting the review. The East Bay Express explored similar charges in-depth last year. Yelp denied everything in the Express' coverage, and went as far as to attack the reporter for being inaccurate. Regarding the class-action suit, a Yelp representative calls the allegations "demonstrably false" and says the company will "dispute [the suit] aggressively."
TechCrunch  |  02-25-2010  8:48 am  |  Industry News

The East Bay Express Launches a New Beer and Live Music Venue

The Oakland-based alt-weekly is sticking its toe into the beer and entertainment business with the launch of EBX Bleeding Heart Lager and Club X. The lager is brewed by the local Linden Street Brewery, and all of the proceeds will go to local nonprofits of the Express' choice. The venue is on the first floor of the Express' office building, and will book all-ages shows in a partnership with the Oakland Metro Operahouse. (FULL STORY)
East Bay Express Press Release  |  12-18-2009  4:29 pm  |  Press Releases

East Bay Express Hosting Office Tour Prior to AAN West Conference

On Friday, Jan. 29 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, the East Bay Express will host a tour of its office in Oakland before the AAN West conference gets rolling later that day, walking attendees through the paper's production process as a way to start a discussion about creating an accurate and efficient operation. (FULL STORY)
AAN  |  12-14-2009  2:14 pm  |  Association News

Local Push Has Helped East Bay Express Become Voice of its Communitynew

The "buy local" and community-building philosophy the Express has been practicing since its ownership change in 2007 has paid off, publisher Jody Colley tells the Newspaper Association of America newsletter Big Ideas. "Since we've taken an active role in supporting and producing community events and working with the business community, we're now referred to as the 'media of record' for our area," she says. "The Express is typically approached first for business opportunities, story leads and advertising buys."
Big Ideas (PDF file)  |  10-14-2009  2:32 pm  |  Industry News

East Bay Express Launches Small Biz Publication

The Express' Small Business Monthly will launch in February 2010 and "will focus on local reporting of small business issues in our region," according to an email sent out by publisher Jody Colley. "In a broader purpose," she continues, "it will also serve to inform community members, investors, entrepreneurs and policy leaders on how integral our 'Main Street' independent businesses are to a healthy and sustainable local economy." The publication will be distributed as an insert in the Express each month. (FULL STORY)
AAN News  |  10-02-2009  1:06 pm  |  Industry News

Three AAN Members Win Northern California SPJ Awardsnew

The Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced the winners of its 2009 Excellence in Journalism Awards last week, and three alt-weeklies took home honors. The SF Weekly's Joe Eskenazi won the Explanatory Journalism (print, non-daily) award for "Service with a Snarl," a piece that "examines, with clarity and humor, the laws around the use of service animals in San Francisco." Kathleen Richards of the East Bay Express won the Investigative Journalism (print, non-daily) award for "Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0," which the judges say is "a strong example of consumer-affairs reporting." And the staff of the North Coast Journal won the Student Special Project award for "Meltdown," a project the paper undertook with students from Humboldt State University's Investigative Reporting Class.
The Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists  |  09-28-2009  1:29 pm  |  Honors & Achievements

Former, Current Owners of East Bay Express Resolve Differences

Eastbay Express Publishing LP, an entity controlled by former Express owner Village Voice Media, has reached a settlement with two of the paper's current owners to settle a suit VVM filed earlier this year. The suit alleged that Hal Brody and Express editor Stephen Buel still owed VVM $500,000 under the terms of the 2007 deal in which the paper was sold. Brody and VVM executive vice president Scott Spear say the parties have resolved that dispute and all other issues raised by the two parties in connection with the transaction. "We are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement satisfactory to both parties," Brody says in a statement. "It puts aside this distraction so we can all concentrate on running our daily business." (FULL STORY)
Village Voice Media Press Release  |  08-31-2009  4:47 pm  |  Press Releases

Glenn Beck Uses Alt-Weekly to Attack White House Green Jobs Czarnew

After calling President Barack Obama a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred for white people," Beck has lost dozens of advertisers on his Fox News TV show as a result of an ad boycott organized by the advocacy group Color of Change. Now he's attacking the group's founder, White House green jobs czar Van Jones, by calling him an "avowed communist." Beck's charge stems from a 2005 East Bay Express cover story on Jones, but staff writer Robert Gammon notes that Beck conveniently "ignores the rest of the Express profile on Jones' career and how he became a facilitator and conciliator who fought for the environment." MORE: Think Progress has responses from the White House and Color of Change.
East Bay Express  |  08-26-2009  10:12 am  |  Industry News

Two Alt-Weekly Leaders Talk About Their 'Local First' Effortsnew

Joe Grafton, the executive director of Somerville Local First, interviews East Bay Express publisher Jody Colley and Austin Chronicle editor Louis Black for a piece in Boston's Weekly Dig about the local movement across the country. Colley talks about the campaign she organized last year that encouraged alt-weekly readers across the country to do their holiday shopping locally, and Black discusses the "symbiotic" relationship the Chronicle has with the local business community. Grafton has posted fuller interview clips of both of them on his Shift Across America blog.
Boston's Weekly Dig  |  08-21-2009  2:21 pm  |  Industry News

Two AAN Papers Make E&P's '10 That Do It Right'new

Phoenix New Times and East Bay Express both made the cut this year. News Times got the nod (subscription-only) "for its long campaign to shine a light on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a classic desert despot," says E&P. And East Bay Express made the magazine's annual list (subscription-only) as a result of its focus on "localization" and community-building. "It's a highly transportable idea," publisher Jody Colley tells E&P.
Editor & Publisher (sub. req.)  |  08-04-2009  1:33 pm  |  Honors & Achievements

Editor of Wired Magazine is Bullish on East Bay Expressnew

Discussing the future of newspapers in a recent episode of C-Span2's Book TV, Chris Anderson, who also is the author of The Long Tail and Free: The Future of a Radical Price, had good things to say about his local alt-weekly: "The (New York) Times will be fine. They will figure it out," Anderson says. "My local newspaper -- my local, local newspaper -- the East Bay Express. They're already pretty lean and mean, they're probably going to be good about covering my local community even better. The San Francisco Chronicle? I'm not sure it has a future."
CSpan2's Book TV  |  07-30-2009  10:54 am  |  Industry News

VVM Sues Owners of East Bay Expressnew

Eastbay Express Publishing LP, an entity controlled by former Express owner Village Voice Media, has filed suit against two of the alt-weekly's current owners, Hal Brody and Stephen Buel, claiming they owe $500,000 under the terms of the 2007 deal in which the paper was sold. Brody admits they owe the money but says their debt is exceeded by the damage they suffered as a result of VVM's violation of a non-compete clause included in the original agreement. "The SF Weekly [also owned by VVM] is not supposed to solicit our advertisers in Alameda and Contra Costa, and they've been doing it, over and over," Brody tells the San Francisco Bay Guardian. "We have massive claims against them for violating those terms." But VVM's attorney disagrees: "(VVM) is not aware that it has violated the terms of any its agreements with the current publisher of the East Bay Express or with Mr. Brody or Mr. Buel," Randall S. Farrimond says. "We believe that any judge or jury who reviews the facts of this matter will conclude that Mr. Brody and Mr. Buel owe us the amounts stated in our complaint." More from the Express.
San Francisco Bay Guardian  |  06-10-2009  2:05 pm  |  Industry News

Bay Area Alts Win Regional Awardsnew

Two alt-weeklies took home awards in the East Bay Press Club's 2008 Excellence in Print Journalism Contest. The East Bay Express won a total of five awards, with first-place finishes for Best Analysis, Best Opinion Piece and Lifestyle Feature. SF Weekly also took home one of the press club's awards, which were announced at a reception on Friday.
East Bay Express  |  06-03-2009  8:47 am  |  Honors & Achievements

East Bay Express Offers Web Solution for Local Businesses

The Express is now offering the LocalBizBlogs service, a do-it-yourself web publishing platform, to small businesses and networks. "Over half of the small businesses in the United States currently do not have a website, and many of those who do find it complicated, time consuming, or cost prohibitive to regularly update," Express publisher Jody Colley says. "LocalBizBlogs can either act as their primary website or a compliment to their legacy site." (FULL STORY)
East Bay Express Press Release  |  05-05-2009  11:50 am  |  Press Releases