A court commissioner has granted the San Francisco Bay Guardian half of the SF Weekly’s current and future advertising revenues in a move that could seriously damage the Weekly’s ability to stay in business. San Francisco County Superior Court Commissioner Everett A. Hewlett Jr. also ordered the SF Weekly to turn over all of its current and future revenues from advertisers who pay by credit card.
The commissioner's order stems from the Guardian's attempt to begin collecting on a $20 million jury verdict from 2008. The jury ruled that the SF Weekly sold ads at below cost in an effort to hurt the Guardian.
The order dated today gives the Weekly five days to comply, and threatens to hold the newspaper in contempt of court if it does not. The Weekly is expected to appeal the decision. The Weekly's lawyers had argued in court that the Guardian's request for half of its revenues should be denied because the Weekly's main creditor, the Bank of Montreal, has first priority.