Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Disputed Legal Ad Contract Awarded to San Francisco Examiner

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Disputed Legal Ad Contract Awarded to San Francisco Examiner

Article excerpt

THE SAN FRANCISCO Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 to award a disputed contract for legal advertising to the San Francisco Examiner as the low bidder.

The tri-weekly San Francisco Independent, which has had the contract since 1990, had argued that the Exmainer should not be awarded the $400,000 advertising business, alleging that it refuses to deliver in black neighborhoods (E&P, May 21, p. 9).

The Examainer replied that independent carrier will not enter some areas for safety reasons and denied that it has a policy of discrimination.

Independently publisher Ted Fang also accused the Examinerm whose bid was $191,000 lower than the free weekly's, of "predatory pricing" -- selling newspapers below cost to force competition out of business. This also was denied by the Examiner.

A coalition of 36 free weekly newspapers in San Francisco had petitioned the supervisors, to allow the Independent to retain the contract, which expires on June 30. Examiner publisher Will Hearst made a personal pitch to supervisors, and the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, which operates the business side of the Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle under a joint operating agreemnet, hired a consultant to lobby the board. …

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