AAN News

East Bay Express Reaches Out to Graffiti Artists

Taking a cue from friends at the Sacramento News & Review, last month the Express launched "Urban Express-ions," a project that hopes to "pre-graffiti" distribution boxes by inviting local artists to adorn them with spray paint. The paper put out a call for artists, held a "painting day" in it's parking lot, and then displayed the results in a prominent Oakland gallery before putting the news boxes back on the street. "Instead of being blighted, we want these to be community art," says publisher Jody Colley, who spoke to AAN News with account manager Mary Younkin about the project. "We have new ownership at the Express and we really want to connect to the artist community more than we have in the past. This is kind of our first project doing that."
BONUS: Check out a video of the painting day below.
AAN News  |  10-10-2007  12:11 pm  |  Industry News

Alt-Weeklies Win Three Regional SPJ Awardsnew

The San Francisco Bay Guardian's G.W. Schulz won "the coveted Public Service award" for his coverage of MediaNews Group's purchase of nearly all Bay Area daily newspapers. SPJ's panel of judges noted that the Bay Guardian "demonstrated by example the value of diversity in news media ownership." Eliza Strickland's examination of questionable practices at an expensive cooking school and how California has failed to regulate for-profit schools for SF Weekly won for investigative reporting, while East Bay Express' Kara Platoni took home the award for feature writing for her piece on gun violence and gun availability. The Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California Chapter will honor the winners at a Nov. 8 dinner.
Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter  |  09-25-2007  8:16 am  |  Honors & Achievements

Alt-Weekly Writer On His Run-ins With the Yusef Bey Familynew

As we reported yesterday, the group behind the killing of Oakland Post journalist Chauncey Bailey waged a campaign of intimidation against then-East Bay Express writer Chris Thompson after he wrote a series critical of the group. Thompson, now with the Village Voice, recounts his experience being stalked by the group's followers. They tried to follow him home, so he'd have different colleagues drive him so they wouldn't recognize the cars, he writes. They repeatedly called him with greetings like "Mr. Thompson, I just want to say that your days are numbered," and "You fucked up for the last time, and your time is up." The death threats -- and the lack of response to his complaints by the Oakland Police Department -- forced him out of the Bay Area. "I spent several months out in the countryside of Northern California, reporting and writing my Metro column from an old hunting lodge ... [until] the goons got bored with hunting for me, and I slowly returned to the office full-time. Chauncey Bailey wasn't so lucky, but he fought the good fight against bad men."
The Village Voice  |  08-08-2007  11:40 am  |  Industry News

Group Behind Journalist's Murder Threatened Alt-Weekly Reporternew

Last week, a 19-year-old follower of the Yusuf Bey family shot and killed Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, who was working on an investigation of the group and its headquarters, Your Black Muslim Bakery. Fortunately, former East Bay Express reporter Chris Thompson's run-in with the group didn't end so grimly. In 2002, the Express published Thompson's investigative series alleging acts of torture, rape, and sodomy perpetrated by the group. After the stories were published, the retaliation began. "Someone smashed up the windows of [the Express'] offices, and Thompson received numerous death threats," according to the Village Voice, where he's currently a staff writer. "Men repeatedly tried to follow Thompson home, or staked out routes he took leaving the office." Express editor Stephen Buel tells the San Francisco Chronicle that the intimidation campaign forced Thompson to work in a different county for months, and shook the paper to the point that "we stopped writing about the group."
Village Voice  |  08-07-2007  8:24 am  |  Industry News

East Bay Express Wins 17 Regional Journalism Awardsnew

In the East Bay Press Club's 2006 Excellence in Print Journalism Contest, the Express finished first in nine categories: sports feature, business feature, technology feature, general news, columnist, long feature, lifestyle feature, criticism or reviewing, and profile. According to a press release, the awards are "somewhat unique in that all print media organizations are judged against each other -- there are no separate categories for circulation or for magazines." Winners were announced Friday evening at a banquet in Oakland.
Alameda Times-Star  |  07-18-2007  8:02 am  |  Honors & Achievements

East Bay Express Reveals Unnamed Ownersnew

Since being purchased from Village Voice Media by a consortium of investors in May, the newly independent alt-weekly has been called on to name every person with ownership interests in the paper. Originally, the Express named only Pitch Weekly founder Hal Brody, Express editor Stephen Buel, Express co-founder Kelly Vance, and Monterey County Weekly CEO Bradley Zeve. Yesterday, the paper wrote on its blog, "Lest anyone assume that we are hiding anything related to the identity of our other colleagues, we are happy to formally introduce all our investors." The remaining investors: Gary Jenkins, founding partner of Kansas City-based Punch Software; Paul Ung, Oakland resident and spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia; Rick Watkins, president of the Kansas City real estate firm Watkins & Company; and Jay Youngdahl, a Cambridge-based managing partner of The Youngdahl Law Firm.
East Bay Express  |  06-28-2007  8:51 am  |  Industry News

East Bay Express Sale: Berkeley Daily Planet Has Questionsnew

Last week, Stephen Buel, the editor and new co-owner of the East Bay Express e-mailed a letter to AAN to point out "several errors" in the Daily Planet's coverage of the paper's sale. The Daily Planet responded and countered with a number of questions for Buel and the other new Express owners about the ownership structure. Buel provided some answers, but they didn't satisfy the Planet.
Berkeley Daily Planet  |  06-04-2007  11:04 am  |  Industry News

More Details Reported About East Bay Express Deal

As the dust settles from Village Voice Media's sale of the Express to a consortium of independent owners, a clearer picture of the new paper is emerging. The Berkeley Daily Planet reports that former Pitch Weekly publisher Hal Brody is the paper's majority owner, with 51 percent of the stock. Brody tells the Bay Guardian that, in addition to himself, editor Stephen Buel and Monterey County Weekly's Bradley Zeve, there are three out-of-town investors in the paper. He also says that the Express' joint ad sales agreement with VVM's SF Weekly will continue "indefinitely," and that the paper will continue to be represented in national ad sales by Ruxton. Meanwhile, Buel tells the Daily Planet that VVM "doesn't do well in places with competition." He adds: "If you look at the paper in the past year or so, you will see that it has gotten a lot thinner ... they didn't do well here." Buel also says that while the Express remains a defendant in the Bay Guardian's predatory pricing lawsuit, VVM agreed to assume all responsibility for the litigation. Finally, Buel writes on the Express' blog that more changes are afoot: a 5,000 bump in circulation and a tightening of the distribution area. He says the new owners also plan to address "changes to the format and design of the newspaper [that] made it a far less hospitable home for small advertisers, and placed limits on our community news coverage."
Berkeley Daily Planet | San Francisco Bay Guardian  |  05-23-2007  8:57 am  |  Industry News

San Francisco Bay Guardian's Ad Director Heads Across the Baynew

In the wake of Village Voice Media's sale of the East Bay Express, the Bay Guardian reports that Jody Colley is leaving to join the newly independent paper as its publisher. Colley previously worked in ad sales at Pitch Weekly when that Kansas City paper was owned by Hal Brody, one of the principal investors in the new Express.
San Francisco Bay Guardian  |  05-21-2007  12:52 pm  |  Industry News

New East Bay Express Owner On the Changes to Comenew

Stephen Buel, co-owner and editor of the newly independent Express, tells the San Francisco Chronicle that he will aim for a "better mix" of story lengths and more community and government meeting coverage, and will bring back calendar listings and staff-generated movie reviews. The paper will also be redesigned, in print and online. "Readers won't see the changes next week," Buel said. "But in six or so months, they can decide whether they like them or not."
San Francisco Chronicle  |  05-18-2007  1:27 pm  |  Industry News

Group of Alt-Weekly Vets to Buy East Bay Express

In a press release issued this afternoon, Village Voice Media says it is selling its Emeryville-based paper to an investment group led by current editor Stephen Buel, AAN veteran Hal Brody, and Express co-founder Kelly Vance. Monterey County Weekly founder and CEO Bradley Zeve is also one of the investors. Brody, who owned Pitch Weekly in Kansas City until he sold it to New Times in 1999, will take over as publisher. The Express, which was founded in 1978, has been owned by New Times/VVM since 2001. "It's great that Hal and Steve will be taking over the Express," VVM chief executive officer Jim Larkin says. "They are amazingly talented people who will devote themselves to continuing the paper's excellence." Editing the Express "is the best job I've ever had," Buel says. "It will be an honor to build upon the legacies left by the founders and Village Voice Media." (FULL STORY)
Village Voice Media Press Release  |  05-17-2007  5:09 pm  |  Press Releases

Former Alt-Weekly Classified Sales Director Charged With Murdernew

Fernando Loughlin, who left East Bay Express in 2005, has been charged with murdering his 3-month-old son, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Loughlin claimed he accidentally dropped the child in a bathtub, but an autopsy determined that the boy's injuries could not have resulted from an accidental fall, according to authorities. Mila Marques, who formerly worked at the Express with Loughlin, says he left the Bay Area weekly in part to spend time with his older son. "He wouldn't have done it," she says. "(He) was the sweetest man on Earth."
San Francisco Chronicle  |  03-14-2007  9:02 am  |  Industry News

Village Voice Media Taps New Law Firm in Bay Guardian Suitnew

The parent company of SF Weekly and East Bay Express hired local litigation specialists Kerr & Wagstaffe to replace Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffein in the predatory-pricing lawsuit brought against those two papers by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Kerr & Wagstaffe is the third firm involved in the defense of the lawsuit, set to go to trial in mid-July, reports Legal Pad, a blog focusing on California law.
Legal Pad  |  02-21-2007  1:04 pm  |  Industry News