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Printer sues San Diego Reader through its “alter ego,” Jim Holman

February 1, 2010 - 1:58 pm

The Reader, aka “Jim Holman,” photo by Byron Beck, Willamette Week

You may have noticed that the San Diego Reader recently traded its staples for a new, flat magazine-style binding, known in the industry as “perfect bound.” The change reflects the Reader‘s switch to a new print house at the beginning of the year—a move that prompted the weekly’s former printer of 35 years, San Dieguito Printers (SDP), to file a breach-of-contract suit against Reader publisher Jim Holman.

In the action filed in San Diego Superior Court on Jan. 27, SDP alleges that, in 2005, the Reader wanted to increase the number of color pages in its weekly newspaper. Because such an upgrade would cost “millions” in new equipment, SDP got Holman to sign a 10-year contract to ensure the investment was worth it. The contract, which granted SDP exclusive rights to print the Reader, was set to expire in 2015.

According to the complaint, the Reader began threatening to abandon the contract in 2008 and 2009 unless the printer lowered its cost. SDP says it complied, according to the court filing:

Having made such large expenditures on the equipment, as well as other financial and business adjustments required by the Reader, and the Reader then representing a large share of SDP’s revenues, losing the Reader as a client was not an economically feasible option for SDP. Therefore, with the understanding it would preserve the contract and the Reader as a client, SDP granted the Reader a number of price concessions, improved the printing schedule at a cost to SDP and other sacrifices.

Yet, the Reader started using a new cheap cross country movers company on Jan. 1, 2010, according to the court filing. SDP says that constitutes a breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and “unfair and unlawful” practices in violation of the California Business and Professions Code.

SDP is suing Holman personally and Holman as a business, rather than the Reader itself, stating that the Reader is simply Holman’s “alter ego.” SDP says:

any individuality and separateness between them has ceased…


Holman exercises complete control and dominance…


adherence to the fiction of the separate existence of the defendant… would permit an abuse of the corporate privilege and would promote injustice in that Holman would be able to hide assets and retain them for himself.

Here’s some food for thought: If Holman is inseparable from the Reader, then should the pro-choice community hold the Reader accountable for all the pro-life “parental notification” ballot initiatives Holman has filed?

Download the court complaint here.

169 Comments leave one →
  1. SDaniels permalink
    February 1, 2010 - 2:24 pm 2:24 pm

    “Here’s some food for thought: If Holman is inseparable from the Reader, then should the pro-choice community hold the Reader accountable for all the pro-life “parental notification” ballot initiatives Holman has filed?”

    C’mon, Dave. Bit of a non sequitur? This question has been asked by CityBeat staff before, but in order to ask it intelligently and with due gravity, some Reader content supportive of such a connection should be found and cited, along with the accusation.

    I abhor Holman’s politics, but as a student of literary theory for over a decade, and a habitual reader of subtext in all I read, I see no connection. Aside from a possible ban on content from the Reader dealing with issues over prolifers and prochoice from any perspective–nothing.

    I believe Holman is known for leaving the Reader to its editors and writing staff, which is to be commended. Dave, I asked you back in the thread on Board’s firing if you could enlighten me on why CityBeat staff and readers hate the Reader so much? You said you weren’t the one to ask, but this blog entry makes me thing you just might be?

    • February 1, 2010 - 3:50 pm 3:50 pm

      The mere fact that this is a sole proprietorship is just weird. It really draws into question the supposed editorial independence. We’ll probably never see this proven in court though, it’ll likely settle.

  2. February 1, 2010 - 2:33 pm 2:33 pm

    Usually, I’m one of those who argues separating Holman’s politics from the publication. But since the suit alleges them as one and the same… I couldn’t help myself. I figure this is as good an opportunity as any to debate it.

    Two points worth considering:

    1)If Holman’s personal finances and the paper’s are comingled to the extent they constitute one entity, then, yes, advertisers are directly funding Holman’s personal political crusade.

    2) Generally speaking, while an editor or writer can (and perhaps should) endorse certain measures or ideas, it’s not generally considered inappropriate for them to actually spearhead anything political like a ballot initiative or lobbying effort unless it directly relates to media. Like, if I decided to run for office, I wouldn’t be able to keep my job, regardless of whether i decided not to cover my own race.

    Other than that, yeah, I think you’re correct. In the four months I’ve been here, I haven’t seen anything really alarming on the pro-life front in the Reader’s pages. Now, in Holman’s Catholic publications, well that’s a different story altogether.

  3. David Rolland permalink*
    February 1, 2010 - 3:53 pm 3:53 pm

    I would argue that the advertisers are bankrolling the initiatives regardless of whether or not Holman and the Reader are one in the same financially—this is, of course, assuming that Holman is bankrolling the initiatives with his Reader salary. If he’s earned those millions of dollars in some other way, I’ll stand corrected.

    BTW, CityBeat doesn’t “hate” the Reader—all we’ve ever done is report on Holman’s anti-choice initiatives and highlight his anti-gay bigotry and Josh Board’s racism, not to mention the occasional jab at Ken Leighton.

    • SDaniels permalink
      February 1, 2010 - 4:34 pm 4:34 pm

      So far, these are reasonable possibilities, and should be considered–I do not by any means think it should be left at ‘well, there is no discernible influence in the Reader’s content, so there’s the end of it.’ As for my use of the word “hate,” if you go back and examine some of the replies to the Board thread, there are more than a few flickers of flame about how the Reader is just a pulpy front for Holman’s politics, or lazily condemning Holman, and no one was willing to back anything up. I appreciate this thoughtful discourse much more, and of course, as a Reader blogger, it had not escaped my notice that it took much, much more than my complaints and calling out of Board for him to be fired for his almost daily racist and sexist content. I wondered if Holman had condoned it, while the rest of the staff would have fired him in an instant…some of the writers there I know would have, and must be happy that this publication is now clean of that particular kind of influence. But sorry–this is not a thread about that distasteful subject, so I’ll finish reading the posts now 😉

  4. edwin decker permalink
    February 1, 2010 - 3:53 pm 3:53 pm

    The two are as separate as they can be. In a world as connected and convoluted as ours, it’s impossible to separate everything we hold ideologically offensive from the things we consume and, therefore, bankroll.

    We’d have to stop watching professional sports because on every team, there is at least one homophobic and / or spousally abusive dickwad on it. We’d have to stop buying cars because there’s at least one animal torturer on the assembly line. We’d have to stop buying music cuz at least one of our pennies will go into the hands of one type of record industry scumbag or another. There’s just no separating these things.

    I read, would advertise with, and have contributed to, the Reader with a clear conscience.

    • February 1, 2010 - 4:26 pm 4:26 pm

      And that’s your right, Ed. Just as it’s my right to not support someone who has repeatedly attempted—using large sums of money—-to re-write the state constitution so that young women seeking an abortion lose their right to privacy.

  5. February 1, 2010 - 4:00 pm 4:00 pm

    See, this is the kind of debate I like to see–even if its mostly CityBeat, internally. Me, I’m still on the fence with this one.

  6. jason permalink
    February 1, 2010 - 4:56 pm 4:56 pm

    I flip through the reader every week because it’s my job to see what the competition is doing. Before I worked here i hardly ever picked up a reader. Not because of the politics but because I couldn’t really find anything interesting through the maze of before-and-after hairy back/fat belly/bad teeth/psycho boob job ads. That bieng said, I work in Hillcrest and I am in contact with the business community there quite often. Many business owners, gay and straight, in the Uptown areas and especially Hillcrest, flat out refuse to advertise their businesses in the Reader or carry the publication in their stores, because of Jim Holman’s Political views. I’ve seen it first hand, so to me there are alot of people out there who have made the connection and have made their choice.

    • Shane Finneran permalink
      February 2, 2010 - 8:10 am 8:10 am

      Jason, do you work in advertising sales for CityBeat? Related question: does your advertising sales force use this Supporting-The-Reader-Equals-Supporting-Holman argument in its pitches?

      • jason permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 2:32 pm 2:32 pm

        Yes. I can’t speak for the other ad sales reps, but for me it does come up, especially in Hillcrest. I wouldn’t call it a “pitch”, but if a prospective client is considering advertising with the reader instead of CityBeat, I definetely mention Holman’s politics and encourage them to do some research before they make a decision. I also encourage them to talk to their customers about the Reader. I have personally seen business owners turn down offers from Reader ad sales reps, citing Holman’s stance on abortion and human rights as a direct reason. And it made my day.

      • February 4, 2010 - 7:25 am 7:25 am

        Using economic boycotts as a form of social justice activism has a long history in the United States, Shane, and it appears that this is precisely the logic upon which Jason’s advertising advice to Hillcrest merchants is based. In the 1950s, African Americans in the south were very successful in cracking Jim Crow laws and discriminatory practices–by leveraging their own purchasing power as consumers. The Reader does not have to publish hate speech in order for us to realize that the Reader’s owner as a businessman uses his profits to support and promote anti-choice, homophobic political initiatives.

      • Shane Finneran permalink
        February 4, 2010 - 8:27 am 8:27 am

        I’m aware of how boycotts work, Jill. The point I was driving at above – before this debate devolved into the juvenile, encouraging me to move on – is that this storyline seems to be in an ethical gray area where it directly serves the financial interests of the paper reporting it. And commenter Jason sells ads for CityBeat, meaning he also has a direct financial interest in spreading this storyline far and wide.

  7. February 1, 2010 - 4:57 pm 4:57 pm

    In almost 20 years of writing and cartooning for the Reader, I’ve never had Mr. Holman OR any editor request I that create or alter something that hews to someone else’s POV, political or otherwise. I’ll paraphrase something I’ve said elsewhere about the “separateness” of the Reader and its publisher:

    I don’t know if it’s the same at CityBeat, but most Reader writers find and create articles independent of the publisher’s or editorial instruction. I’ve never been told to seek content that aligns with the publisher’s POV. I didn’t even KNOW about Mr. Holman’s political and social leanings until reading about them in an old CityBeat article.

    As for Mr. Rolland’s reference to Mr. Holman’s alleged “anti-gay bigotry” and allegations made elsewhere on the CityBeat site that he is also somehow anti-women (, if you browse the last 100 Musician Interview features (each profiling a single local act), you’ll find around 20 focus on a female solo performers, 15 more concern bands which include women, and at least 8 are about performers I know to be gay, most very openly (plus one who essentially “came out” in her Reader feature).

    So it’s demonstrably untrue that the Reader is somehow anti-gay or anti-women, and it’s certainly untrue that Mr. Holman or his editors mold the Reader to reflect either stance.

    • February 1, 2010 - 5:50 pm 5:50 pm

      JAS: Mr. Holman’s biases might not manifest themselves in the pages of the Reader (though I can think of a couple of instances) but rather through his significant financial support of anti-choice legislation and candidates and also this thing:

      Do you honestly think that the few tile ads and donations cover the costs of a daily website? And, please note that Cal Catholic’s offices are located at the same address as the Reader.

    • February 1, 2010 - 6:17 pm 6:17 pm

      Always enjoy it when you drop by, JAS. I called out, “Sanford commented,” when I saw this. Ask Kelly or Seth. I did.

      So, you said that writers create articles independent of editorial instruction. What exactly does that mean? Are stories edited beyond basic proofreading? I mean, what’s the quality control over there? I’m totally baffled by some of the totally wrong stuff coming from other there. The Voice of San Diego story, for example, totally shocked me with its carelessness. (Not mention someone let you draw Seth Combs as fat. Ha!)

      I don’t know that anyone’s suggesting there’s much crossover between Holman’s politics and the content.

      Rather, the question is whether supporting the Reader also means supporting a pro-life agenda. An advertiser might feel strongly enough about the issue to put her money elsewhere.

      I don’t think the writers or the readers are culpable. A writer’s gotta make a living. And a person should read everything, including the super-sucky shit. And it’s not all super-sucky.

      I read your column and Barbarella’s and scan the cover story to see if it’s actually worth the effort (damned those thin columns). I see that as supporting writers.

      Advertising is something else altogether. The quality of the news would stop me from advertising before the politics would. But that’s just me and I’m not advertising.

    • February 1, 2010 - 7:37 pm 7:37 pm

      Didn’t you post this exact same comment somewhere else? Is this the standard response? I feel like I’ve read it before.

  8. Seth permalink
    February 1, 2010 - 6:03 pm 6:03 pm

    Wow, let’s all give Jay Allen Sanford and sons a big round of applause for being down with the ladies! He deserves a medal and an honorary seat at the next League of Women Voters meeting.

    You guys can piss and moan all you want but Dave brings up an excellent point: If the Reader and Jim Holman are one in the same under the law then, logically, it would follow that Holman’s politics ARE The Reader’s politics. What’s more important is that the readers and advertisers of The Reader have the right to know where their money is going and what kind of political agenda they’re inadvertently funding.

    I’ve been offered writing gigs as well as money to use my pictures by The Reader and have turned them down every time. Ed, you can do what you like but I would never take Holman’s blood money.

    • Shane Finneran permalink
      February 1, 2010 - 9:29 pm 9:29 pm

      “the readers and advertisers of The Reader have the right to know where their money is going and what kind of political agenda they’re inadvertently funding”

      With this in mind, I find myself wondering who owns and profits from CityBeat. Can y’all enlighten me?

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 12:34 am 12:34 am

        SD CityBeat is owned by Southland Publishing, which also owns a few other weeklies and a couple of monthlies. Southland Publishing is owned by Michael Flannery. Michael Flannery owns Valley Printers, which specializes in printing weeklies and monthlies. Flannery is quite wealthy.

        How he got started in Weeklies:

        (Note the irony at the end of the story where Valley Printers sues L.A. Weekly for breech of contract.)

        Some WTF? business about Princess Diana:

        L.A. CityBeat Folds:

        You’re not going to find very much out about Michael Flannery’s personal life. It doesn’t matter anyway. People who have worked for him over the years offer that he purchased the weeklies in order to do their printing, and he wasn’t much concerned about their profitability so long as they didn’t lose money and his printing business made money. Unfortunately, unprofitable businesses – even break-even businesses – have a way of screwing up that formula. LA CityBeat is one example. They hired some whiz-kid to run the magazine and he wound up running it into the ground. By the time he left and they replaced him with someone who was competent, it was too late.

        I’ve read some ex-employees of Flannery that have had less-than-stellar things to say about him, but there’s no point in linking that here. Flannery could be an okay guy, I have no idea, and ex-employees often have axes to grind.

      • Shane Finneran permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 8:27 am 8:27 am

        Thanks for those links, Mr. Maass. So Southland Publishing owns CityBeat. Well, who owns Southland Publishing? I don’t see this information in any of the links.

        Since CityBeat has made an issue of where Reader “money is going” it seems reasonable to ask the same question of CityBeat.

      • Shane Finneran permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 9:04 am 9:04 am

        Ah, refriedgringo, when I asked for more info on Southland, I hadn’t seen your comment. Thank you for the thorough breakdown.

        Maybe some of the CityBeat folks could clue us in on Flannery’s political leanings? Multimillionaires don’t tend to lean left, but maybe Flannery is the rare exception.

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 2:59 pm 2:59 pm

        Shane: All that I can say is that Mr. Flannery has been described as “conservative”. To what degree he is conservative remains a mystery. There is a chance that he shares many political views with Mr. Holman, I suppose, but he doesn’t seem to be politically active in a public manner. As I have noted, I think that the relevance is overstated.

        When I was a kid, there was an Alpha Beta supermarket in town. It was a great place to shop, low prices and good products. The rumor was that the chain was owned by Mormons (I have no idea if this was true, but it was widely believed). Some people refused to shop there, believing that the Mormon church profited by the store’s transactions. This was my first lesson in the convoluted logic of the consumer. As though the Mormon church built industries in order to take over the World, and one way to stop them was to not shop at Alpha Beta!

        As though Jim Holman, who is already worth millions, runs the Reader only to use its profits to further his political and religious agendas.

    • PistolPete permalink
      February 1, 2010 - 10:18 pm 10:18 pm

      Assomeone who is bisexual and all for abortion, I myself don’t see the Reader/Holman connection. I read the Reader not because of it’s shitty ads(I wouldn’t buy anything advertised in either the CityBeat or the Reader) or it’s shitty news. I read the Reader because of it’s unbiased viewpoint regarding today’s issues. I read articles written from the loony Left, the center and the retarded Right. CityBeat is almost exclusively loony Left. The Reader=CNN, CityBeat=MSNBC, & the SD-UT=FNC…

      Seth, you are correct that readers know where their money goes to. However, you are dead wrong about the advertisers knowing where their money goes to. There’s a VERY fair trade off. Advertisers get their crappy products seen regionally and the Reader gets cash to continue to provide a place where said advertisers can hawk their shit.

      I’ve said it a couple of times recently and I’ll say it again here:Methinks too many people in this area are thinking with their politics instead of their brain. Not everything in life is as simple as voting Demoncrat or Repukelican.

      • February 1, 2010 - 10:30 pm 10:30 pm

        Pete, you never fail to surprise.

        I think the Reader-CNN comparison is silly. Maybe CNN headline news or something….but then again, CNN is relying a lot on iReporters these days.

  9. February 1, 2010 - 6:40 pm 6:40 pm

    Seth says “If the Reader and Jim Holman are one in the same under the law…”

    That’s the issue, because the Reader is NOT one guy. The paper is a business organization, legally registered and operated as such – just because someone files a lawsuit CLAIMING “We think of this guy as the same as his business,” that doesn’t suddenly establish that both are indeed “the same under the law.”

    Does Seth think that simply filing a lawsuit immediately establishes anything alleged in that lawsuit as a new law or something?

    Since thickheadedness seems to require further clarification that Mr. Holman and the Reader are NOT interchangeable entities, how about this – Mr. Holman despises pornography. And yet one of the most viewed pages on the entire Reader website for two years now is a detailed book-length history of the Pussycat Theater porn moviehouse chain, which was essentially headquartered in SD.

    Nobody would read that article and come away thinking of it as “anti-porn” – if anything, it’s a glowing tribute to the many Pussycat principals who supported their families working for an odd pop-culture institution whose time in the sun was brief, bizarre, and endlessly fascinating.

    BTW, that “honorary seat at the next League of Women Voters meeting” should be reserved for SEVERAL writers who do the Musician Interview features, as I’m only one of many contribs to that column. ALL would seem to lack the anti-women or anti-gay bias ascribed to Mr. Holman, as evidenced by the numbers I cited —

    Even if the allegations of Mr. Holman’s personal biases RE homosexuality and women were TRUE, the demonstrable lack of Reader content sharing that alleged bias is yet MORE proof that the man and the paper are wholly different entities –

    • Seth permalink
      February 1, 2010 - 6:47 pm 6:47 pm

      Blood on your hands, dude. Blood on your hands.

      • February 1, 2010 - 7:28 pm 7:28 pm

        Haha, well I DID play Pontius Pilate in two different productions of Jesus Christ Superstar!

    • February 1, 2010 - 7:39 pm 7:39 pm

      Actually, that’s exactly what it means when there’s a sole proprietorship.

  10. February 1, 2010 - 7:27 pm 7:27 pm

    Replying to Mr. Maas: “You said that writers create articles independent of editorial instruction. What exactly does that mean? Are stories edited beyond basic proofreading?”

    JAS: All ‘pends the writer and/or editor. My writing seems to naturally fit whatever “house style” rules the editorial roundtable, so I don’t see many revisions to what I turn in. Other Reader writers may have different experiences, especially newer contribs. If any editors are ASSIGNING stories, I’d love to get a few of those! All the Reader contribs I talk with generate their own leads, the same as I do.

    DM: “What’s the quality control over there?”

    JAS: The stuff that ends up printed is the stuff deemed of worthy quality. Many eds make those decisions – whether everyone in SD who reads the stuff agrees about its “quality” is a subjective call, tho 30-plus years of weekly Readers indicates that much of San Diego considers the content of high enough quality to support. The same can’t be said for countless other local weeklies that have come and gone –

    DM: “Not mention someone let you draw Seth Combs as fat.”

    JAS: Ha, you should have seen the pencil version! I don’t think I’ve ever met Mr. Combs, so I was limited to a handful of (apparently) unflattering photos for reference. And I’m frankly not good at caricature – or at least I’m only as good as my photo refs.

    DM: “…the question is whether supporting the Reader also means supporting a pro-life agenda.”

    JAS: Sports Illustrated has done countless articles about Mike Tyson. So does reading or advertising in SI mean you support wife beating? Of course not. Silly question — instead, let’s address whether Reader income and Mr. Holman’s personal finances are interchangeable, thus rendering the man and the business as a single entity. The first thing one learns when setting up a corporation is to SEPARATE personal from professional finances. Since he’s been running a (very successful) corporation for over three decades, let’s assume Mr. Holman has followed this basic tenet.

    A good reason for keeping personal finances separate from business (or businessES, in Mr. Holman’s case) is so that somebody making allegations against one entity isn’t able to claim against another, let alone COLLECT from another in the event of a favorable judgment. The printer who filed the lawsuit decided to go after a single person instead of the actual business they claim breached a contract – I can only speculate as to why, but perhaps they thought Mr. Holman has more money than the Reader???

    Seems a dumb move on the printer’s part – if I was gonna sue Wendy’s over a poison hamburger, I wouldn’t go after Dave Thomas’ widow for the payout.

    • refriedgringo permalink
      February 1, 2010 - 9:25 pm 9:25 pm

      The printer is going after Holman because of his money. Much in the same way that Maass goes after the Reader because it is useful to filling the comments section of this CityBeat weblog. Much in the same way that CityBeat would have everyone believe that anyone who reads the San Diego Reader is lining the pockets of Holman’s political and religious agendas.

      The late, great, George Carlin pointed out that mother’s milk leads to heroin. A radical conclusion? No more radical than presuming that watching a Charger’s game on television contributes to the Republican Party.

      • February 1, 2010 - 10:08 pm 10:08 pm

        Man, you’re like my number one fan. I’ve never seen my name dropped in comments so often.

        Not sure why you think that I’d want to fill our comments section. I like seeing dialogue and discussion, but really, there is no pay-off for comments on this blog.

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 1, 2010 - 11:21 pm 11:21 pm

        No Dave, not a fan. Nor an anti-fan. Note that I’ve only commented on two of your entries, both about the Reader, both pieces written in a negative light. I have no idea what discussion you hoped would ensue here, since you’ve already drawn quite an over-reaching conclusion. It is very well known that the folks working at CityBeat view the Reader as “easy competition” (a direct quote from your very own Kelly Davis), so I find it odd that you’re resorting to such foolishness here. I hope that the folks at SD CityBeat aren’t feeling any heat. Flannery has the business sense (publishing-wise, I’m certain that his printing machines are top-notch) of a well-dressed street beggar (his lack of success in the weeklies speaks for itself), and the way that LA CityBeat went down, perhaps you’re just nervous.

        I think that competition is a good thing, it keeps the product quality healthy. Unfortuately, rumor has it that SD CityBeat isn’t as healthy as Southland would like to see. I sincerely hope that isn’t true, because when you people aren’t attempting to bag on your competition, there are occassionally stories that I find interesting. And I think the existence of SD CityBeat keeps the Reader on its toes.

        I think that the interesting discussion is being missed. Perhaps we should discuss Holden’s lack of involvement with the Reader versus Flannery’s direction of the henchmen over at Southland. But I think we should discuss that here, because you won’t read anything about that over at the Reader. And while I’m guessing that you’re not going to get my point, I’m still hoping that you do.

      • February 2, 2010 - 8:50 am 8:50 am

        For the record: Mike Flannery has no say over the editorial content at any of the Southland papers, and neither do his “henchmen”—whatever that means.

      • February 2, 2010 - 9:13 am 9:13 am

        Gringo – Well you sure drop my name a lot. You should read other pieces I’ve written.

        And no, I’m not nervous. Weeklies don’t tend to hire out of state talent with competitive pay when they aren’t doing well.

      • Ryan Blue permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 11:24 am 11:24 am


        It is my estimate that the SDReader has nearly 10,000 pages each year in order to print whatever they’d like.

        Could you do me a favor and list the top 3 SDReader stories (that you’ve read) that exhibit the Reader’s stand on truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability in their reporting and writing?

        Also, can you tell me your favorite story of all the time that “blew the lid” off of some kind of scandal or “helped” San Diego become a “less corrupt” city/place to live?

        Thanks for your feedback in advance.


      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 1:50 pm 1:50 pm

        Kelly: I don’t claim that Flannery has any dealings with editorial, but rather, business decisions concerning the weeklies. And as much as SD CityBeat would love to believe otherwise, Jim Holman leaves the content of the Reader up to the people hired to control such content.

        Dave: You are missing my point. Allow me to be blunt: If your sales staff is attempting to get advertising by pitching the fact that Jim Holman is anti-abortion and pro-catholic, then SD CityBeat isn’t going to compete very well. The corollary to that would be in writing this blog entry.

        Ryan: Rather than take your quiz, I invite you to somply follow Don Bauder, and many articles by Matt Potter. Both are very good investigative reporters. The Reader isn’t The Daily Planet. It’s a weekly. While there have been plenty of articles that “blew the lid off of some kind of scandal or helped San Diego become a less corrupt city/place to live”, the point of the publication is entertainment. It’s a lot like CityBeat in that regard.

      • February 2, 2010 - 2:00 pm 2:00 pm

        Gringo: I didn’t miss your point, I just didn’t address it since I’m not privy to the sales pitch. Also, I think Jason addressed that earlier when he said: “Many business owners, gay and straight, in the Uptown areas and especially Hillcrest, flat out refuse to advertise their businesses in the Reader or carry the publication in their stores, because of Jim Holman’s Political views.”

        As for the three stories, I’ll just start with one, since I’ve only been here a few months. I’ll let Kelly, David and Seth chime in with some of the older ones.

    • February 4, 2010 - 7:40 am 7:40 am

      JAS, you pose the question: “Sports Illustrated has done countless articles about Mike Tyson. So does reading or advertising in SI mean you support wife beating? Of course not.” To clarify the issue of “support”–let’s be clear. It is highly unlikely that Sports Illustrated is owned by a single individual proprietor. And even if it were, it would be even more unlikely that Sports Illustrated owners would use those profits to promote LEGISLATION to support wife-beating. Holman, the SOLE proprietor of The Reader, uses the profits of The Reader, over which he has SOLE control, to lobby, support political activism, and promote LEGISLATION in support of homophobic, anti-choice laws. The Reader can publish all the soft-porn crap it wants to, including all those ridiculous cosmetic surgery ads, but that does not change the fact that Holman uses these profits to promote specific, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-choice legislation. There is a huge difference there.

  11. CuddleFish permalink
    February 1, 2010 - 7:39 pm 7:39 pm

    I wonder if you would clarify this point, Seth:

    What’s more important is that the readers and advertisers of The Reader have the right to know where their money is going and what kind of political agenda they’re inadvertently funding.

    What do you mean by the readers’ money? It’s a free publication. I’m afraid I’ve never given them a dime, unless I’m missing something.

    Also, are you meaning that the readers of the Reader have blood on their hands? What about the Neighborhood bloggers? Are we bloody too?

    • February 1, 2010 - 7:41 pm 7:41 pm

      Please don’t tell me you’re a Reader blogger but are confused by how your contributions to the publication and/or reading it every week contributes to the company’s bottom line.

      • Just Noticing permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 8:33 am 8:33 am

        Hmmm, odd that “Cuddlefish” hasn’t replied here. Over on the Reader site, he never seems to miss an opportunity to make a sassy retort!

      • CuddleFish permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 11:29 am 11:29 am

        Mr. Cuddlefish addressed the question to Seth, and is waiting for the courtesy of a reply.

      • edwin decker permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 11:49 am 11:49 am

        I’ll be happy to answer your question Cuddlefish, at least partially.

        Free publications make their money from advertising. Advertising costs are based on readership. Readership is determined by, among other things, distribution points and units “consumed” (for lack of a better word).

        So, every time you pick up a Reader at your local 7-11 you are adding to the perceived consumption of the magazine, thereby raising the price of advertising and subsequently bulking the pockets of it’s owners.

    • CuddleFish permalink
      February 2, 2010 - 12:36 pm 12:36 pm

      Thank you, Mr. Decker.

      I will wait to hear what Seth has to say.

  12. Glenn Fleishman permalink
    February 1, 2010 - 7:40 pm 7:40 pm

    I didn’t see mentioned in this article or the comments the reason for that language in the suit. The printer is trying to do what’s called “piercing the corporate veil.” That is, to show that a corporate entity is acting as a personal agent. This is a typical move in many similar lawsuits.

    The idea is that the corporate structure protects the personal assets of the individuals behind the corporation (shareholders or owners or what have you). If the “veil” is pierced, then the personal assets of the individuals who make up the corporation are up for grabs, too.

    • February 1, 2010 - 7:51 pm 7:51 pm

      Uhm, actually, what the plaintiff is saying is that there is no corporate entity, and they’re correct.

      The Reader’s corporate status was suspended by the state.

  13. February 1, 2010 - 9:11 pm 9:11 pm

    Noted – if true about current corporate status, then substitute “Business” for “Corporation” in my comments. All else remains applicable — BTW, “piercing the corporate veil” mainly refers to sham corporations set up to hide assets.

    The Reader is clearly not a “sham corporation” – its existence and assets are very real and provable, as opposed to “corporate veils,” which usually consist of nothing more than a P.O. box and a business license.

    A man who also owns a business, and who wisely keeps his personal finances separate from his business, does not automatically constitute someone hiding behind a corporate veil. Again, the printer seems woefully misguided in pursuing an individual rather than the business it alleges broke a contract —

  14. February 1, 2010 - 9:55 pm 9:55 pm

    Perhaps worth mentioning is the other example of “corporate veil,” which is when a bunch of people are declared business principals, when in fact they’re just figureheads propped up to hide the real owner. The Reader being clearly sole-proprietor, “piercing the corporate veil” is wholly inapplicable to this situation —

  15. mr. mike permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 12:10 am 12:10 am

    As somebody who works for neither outfit it’s my observation that Jim Holman really isn’t the “SD Reader.” If anything, the “Catholic News-Notes” seems to be the real Jim Holman, and that Holman is probably using whatever profits are earned by the “Reader” to prop up or defray costs at the “News-Notes” if that publication isn’t picking up the slack in revenues. (I don’t know if that’s the case, nor do I care.) Personally I thought the “Reader” had changed format because of the screaming drop in classified ads and maybe do to glue binding being cheaper than staples.

  16. mr. mike permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 12:11 am 12:11 am

    …should be “due to glue binding.”

  17. LaJollaLion permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 2:00 am 2:00 am

    It is sort of interesting following various points of disagreement (non-retracted stories, racist bloggers, made up stores, etc.) between the reader, citybeat, and the UT.

    However, this out of context quote from Bruce Sterling seems to sum it all up
    “And, you know, all the other discourse was just Third-World-style Twitter bazaar gossip.”

    The first i heard about Jim Holman’s politics was from a UT article that came out near the time I moved to San Diego in 2006 or 2007. In the end, though, the reader is the only newspaper with a sense of history of San Diego. I think the writing is overall constantly better in citybeat, but, when an excellent reader cover story is published, it is usually the best thing published in san diego that week. And, the political stance it does take is taking the historic geraniums side of san diego development vs the UT’s traditional role as favoring smokestacks. Jim Holman also takes the bus to work all the time. And, all his attempts in the political field have failed, if I am not mistaken.

    Anyways, Sturgeon’s Law has never been more applicable than with the reader. And, with an ever decreasing/splintering of media sources, the more the merrier, is what I say. Critical readers can figure out what’s valuable and what’s not.

  18. LaJollaLion permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 2:03 am 2:03 am

    Here is the UT article I mentioned. If you haven’t read it, its quite interesting and detailed.

  19. LaJollaLion permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 2:18 am 2:18 am

    Sorry to post three times in a row, but, I was just looking up articles for fun, and found this

    The Reader doesn’t publish any political advertising anymore, does it?

  20. February 2, 2010 - 6:53 am 6:53 am

    Never having read either of those two richly entertaining and informative articles before, I urge those Dos Equis commercials to declare Mr. Holman as the REAL “Most Interesting Man in the World!”

  21. edwin decker permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 12:01 pm 12:01 pm

    Seth, all I’m saying is this. I’m all for direct boycotting, that is, boycotting people, businesses or corporations that are directly contributing to the decline of our society.

    However, indirect boycotting is futile and hypocritical: Futile because there are too many moving parts. Too many people can get hurt who are not the target of the boycott. There are lots of good people at the Reader, like my pal Jay Sanford, who didn’t even know about Holman’s politcal agendas. indirect boycotting hurts him too.

    Then there is the hypocrisy problem because, if you engage in indirect boycotting, you must pretty much boycott EVERYTHING. As I said in an earlier comment, our world is too intertwined to separate these things. A portion of every dollar you spend, whether on electronics, beer, food, movies, music, transportation, or, in your case, hookers and crack, goes into the hand of at least one scumbag somewhere which he will funnel toward one or more of his evil agendas..

    Furthermore, Jim Holman’s money is hardly bloody. He’s a conservative, like nearly half the country, and he has an opinion about what is right and wrong. I don’t agree with most of them, but he’s hardly an evil being who’s greenbacks are streaked with the blood of the innocents.

    • February 2, 2010 - 12:09 pm 12:09 pm

      Make sure to check out my piece on Wednesday. Related to this issue, but not the Reader.

    • refriedgringo permalink
      February 2, 2010 - 2:27 pm 2:27 pm

      Yep, I agree. This really is what it boils down to. The demonization of Jim Holman seems to be some radical way of disagreeing with his politics. If I took Seth’s route, since I don’t believe in politics at all, that would leave me without a publication for which to write.

      I’ve submitted short, goofy stories to the Reader, and not once did I feel as though I had denied some fourteen-year-old girl an abortion. If I ever submitted anything to SD CityBeat, I wouldn’t feel as though I had just given money to Filner’s re-election campaign. I would submit to GLT if I felt as though I had anything relevent to say from the point of view of a heterosexual, and it would never occur to me that I was trying to help defeat proposition eight. In other words, we are defined by what we write, not by the publication that prints it.

      Seth, I admire your passion, but I also admire Holman’s willingness to live by his convictions. The difference between the both of you are merely political. And if there is such a thing as guilt by association, then we are all guilty of something we will never come to realize, so long as there is such a thing as a secret ballot.

      • February 2, 2010 - 2:40 pm 2:40 pm

        I mentioned my feelings on this earlier. As opposed to my colleague, I don’t hold the writers accountable for Holman’s politics. A writer’s gotta make a living. I don’t hold the readers accountable either, because people should read as much as possible, even the things they disagree with.

        As for us, I don’t think we’re that gung-ho on Filner, except for highlighting some of the problems facing veterans that he seems to focus on. Did you see some sort of donation somewhere? I plugged Southland into the FEC database and did see a donation to Obama. Flannery, though, donated money to George W. Bush and the RNC. Go figure. I guess it balances out. It’s not sole proprietorship.

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 3:01 pm 3:01 pm

        Dave, my reference to Filner was for comparative effect, it wasn’t a literal accusation.

      • February 2, 2010 - 3:08 pm 3:08 pm

        I thought it wasn’t, but it was worth checking.

      • CuddleFish permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 3:16 pm 3:16 pm

        Dave Maass Says:
        February 2, 2010 – 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm
        I mentioned my feelings on this earlier. As opposed to my colleague, I don’t hold the writers accountable for Holman’s politics.

        Which colleague would that be, Mr. Maass? Seems to be more than one, perhaps including David Rolland, who do. I emphasize seems, you are in a position to be more specific.

      • February 2, 2010 - 3:23 pm 3:23 pm

        I was specifically talking about Seth “Blood on your hands” Combs, who I hold in high regards. People can disagree.

      • CuddleFish permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 3:28 pm 3:28 pm

        I think I’ve lost the plot.

      • February 2, 2010 - 3:30 pm 3:30 pm

        It happens. WordPress could improve its content management.

      • CuddleFish permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 3:49 pm 3:49 pm

        Yes, that’s funny too.

  22. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 2:11 pm 2:11 pm

    SD CityBeat is owned by Southland Publishing, which also owns a few other weeklies and a couple of monthlies. Southland Publishing is owned by Michael Flannery. Michael Flannery owns Valley Printers, which….folded LA City Beat last year and will fold SD City Beat this year. David Rolland has been the biggest screaming meemie, squealing out bitchy cheap shots at the Reader over the years. It speaks of his midget presence and minimal market penetration and how how he reacts to that reality. You can not say you weren’t a whinny bitch after years of slinging cheap little slurs at the Reader. Your ass-bite approach is fine if that’s how you do business. But don’t come back and try to rewrite history and say that you did not in fact behave like a whining weasel. Do you want your words reprinted here?

    • February 2, 2010 - 2:18 pm 2:18 pm

      Take me up on my pizza bet, Huddleston. Put your money where your mouth is, or, alternately, shove it up your other orifice.

  23. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 4:22 pm 4:22 pm

    I repeat….Dave Rolland would you like me to prove that you have repeatedly engaged in petty backbiting snippy digs directed at the Reader by repeating what you said here in this forum?
    Note to Decker: get out while you can.
    Note to Holman: your politics may or may not be shaky, but your business model (unlike City Beat) is not. You know what’s the saddest thing about City Beat? They are desperate enough to take porn/prostitution ads, but the market for them has dried up. Therefore, they get the worst of both worlds. Their meal ticket went away yet they get still get the taint. Did anyone note that L.A. City Beat happily took porn/prostitution ads before they folded? Ooops!

    • February 2, 2010 - 4:23 pm 4:23 pm

      I repeat, take me up on the bet, coward.

      • Edwin Decker permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 11:18 pm 11:18 pm

        Get out of what, K.Paul, CityBeat? I’m afraid I don’t know what you are referring to.

  24. PistolPete permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 4:46 pm 4:46 pm

    *grabs lawnchair and popcorn*

  25. Seth Combs permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 5:25 pm 5:25 pm

    I just like how my name is now Seth “blood on your hands” Combs. That rules.

    • February 2, 2010 - 5:35 pm 5:35 pm

      I screwed up. It should’ve been Seth “blood on your hands, dude” Combs.

    • CuddleFish permalink
      February 2, 2010 - 6:38 pm 6:38 pm

      Oh there he is. Seth, would you mind replying to my question? Thanks.

    • PistolPete permalink
      February 2, 2010 - 8:48 pm 8:48 pm

      LULZ! I like it as well but Seth’s Angels just doesn’t have quite the same oomph to it….

  26. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 6:17 pm 6:17 pm

    Didn’t hear back from Rolland. Point made.

    Re: Maas: The fact that a full time City Beats staffer spends all day blogging shows how much City Beat is actually contributing to the Gross National Product. Keep the good work! It’s good to know you care more about the 80 bloggers who read this than any potential readers you could have won by writing something worthwhile in your doomed magazine. You get to feel your ego is stroked while adding nothing to the good of your product. I bet you after you send of each blog you stand up, put your hands, on your hips and scream, “I SHOWED HIM.”

    So now let me get this straight, you want me to bet with you about when your paper is going to fold? You are unbelievably weak, my friend. Can someone please tell me what the fuck is the point of Dave Maas or City Beat anyway?

    • February 2, 2010 - 6:35 pm 6:35 pm

      Says the commenter who spends all his time reading this blog and leaving half-baked comments on it.

    • February 2, 2010 - 6:40 pm 6:40 pm

      Tell you what, why don’t you pick up tomorrow’s paper and come back. Also, could you learn the difference between “blogging” and “commenting” in the meantime?

      Pistol Pete, Refried Gringo, Cuddlefish, these folks I often disagree with, but at least they’re not cowards.

      Prove me wrong and stick your neck out.

      • CuddleFish permalink
        February 2, 2010 - 7:26 pm 7:26 pm

        Dave Maass Says:
        February 2, 2010 – 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm

        Pistol Pete, Refried Gringo, Cuddlefish, these folks I often disagree with, but at least they’re not cowards.

        What have you and I disagreed about?

  27. PistolPete permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 8:53 pm 8:53 pm

    Give it time, CF…..give it time. No one human is ever going to agree 100% with any other human on the planet. Agreement is but a mere illusion to the inevitable…

  28. CuddleFish permalink
    February 2, 2010 - 9:00 pm 9:00 pm

    Do people have a hard time reading names on this site?

    The question was directed at Dave Maass. I don’t recall ever disagreeing with him, but my memory may be faulty.

    I will repeat the question: Mr. Maass, when have I ever disagreed with you?

    • CuddleFish permalink
      February 2, 2010 - 9:05 pm 9:05 pm

      Oh, and still waiting to hear from Seth Combs ….

    • February 2, 2010 - 11:46 pm 11:46 pm

      Sorry I didn’t back to you sooner. Been out and about. You know, I might’ve been wrong. But, if we do ever disagree, you’re still not a coward. 🙂

      • CuddleFish permalink
        February 3, 2010 - 9:22 am 9:22 am

        Apparently your colleague Seth Combs is a coward, since he won’t stand behind his words.

  29. February 2, 2010 - 10:45 pm 10:45 pm

    My, you folks have been busy while I was away…

    The esteemed Mr. Maas (always a welcome presence on the Reader comment boards) keeps repeating how short a time he’s been heading up CityBeat — this reminds me of how our (also esteemed) President keeps blaming his predecessor for his own inability to fix what was already broken when he arrived.

    RYAN BLUE said: Could you do me a favor and list the top 3 SDReader stories (that you’ve read) that exhibit the Reader’s stand on truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability in their reporting and writing? Also, can you tell me your favorite story of all the time that “blew the lid” off of some kind of scandal or “helped” San Diego become a “less corrupt” city/place to live?

    JAS replies: OOooh, I wanna play!
    Since you asked, allow me to preen a few of the fine journalistic feathers in the Reader’s jaunty cap:

    1. In 2005, an experimental blood substitute called Polyheme was being used on ambulance patients picked up in “urban” ie inner city and poor neighborhoods, WITHOUT the patients or their families ever being notified! The Reader broke the story, which blew up into national headlines (and a failed lawsuit against the Reader by Polyheme’s manufacturers). The story by Matt Potter (who’s also a staff editor) is here:

    Any Google search with “Polyheme Trial San Diego Reader” will bring up countless indications of the worldwide impact this story ended up having —-

    2. You want more life-or-death revelations? How about the diseases bred by urban-fed mosquitoes, along with what can and can’t be done about a problem quite literally plaguing an ever-increasing portion of our planet today? You can thank frequent Reader contrib Geoff Bouvier for “Deadly Mosquitoes Breed in our Urban Drool” —

    3. What have we done for you lately? Well, as recently as last month, the Reader cover feature “Gompers Takes a Bow” (by Ernie Grimm, also an editor) was the most revelatory piece I’ve ever read about the past VS current state of our city’s urban schools, in particular this one situated on the edge of over a dozen gang territories. I consider it mandatory reading for anyone in this city with school age children.

    Somewhat related is this slice-of-local-school-life by Mr. Bouvier, “Do You Feel Safe at School?” –

    Also – here’s a definitive overview of SoCal’s recurring drought emergencies —

    And the local housing bust/foreclosure boom:

    Any contrib would be proud to share ink with these top flight, world class Reader stories. And these are just a few random samples of my own faves —-

    Finally, RE the proposed new nickname for Seth “Blood on your hands, dude” Combs, he’s most often referred to ‘round these hee-yah parts as “Ken Leighton Lite.” A former CityBeat staffer once told me she thinks of Mr. Combs as “The guy who peed in our pool so often, almost everyone else had to get out and shower,” but that’s kinda hard to fit on a coffee mug.

    • CuddleFish permalink
      February 2, 2010 - 11:10 pm 11:10 pm

      “RYAN BLUE said: Could you do me a favor and list the top 3 SDReader stories (that you’ve read) that exhibit the Reader’s stand on truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability in their reporting and writing? Also, can you tell me your favorite story of all the time that “blew the lid” off of some kind of scandal or “helped” San Diego become a “less corrupt” city/place to live?”

      “3. What have we done for you lately? Well, as recently as last month, the Reader cover feature “Gompers Takes a Bow” (by Ernie Grimm, also an editor) was the most revelatory piece I’ve ever read about the past VS current state of our city’s urban schools, in particular this one situated on the edge of over a dozen gang territories. I consider it mandatory reading for anyone in this city with school age children.

      jayallen, I’m sorry, but please, don’t make me laugh. See my comment at the end of that story.

      • CuddleFish permalink
        February 3, 2010 - 12:14 am 12:14 am

        One of the best writers on education, and school board and education issues and politics is Kelly Davis; I’ve sent her articles around to people as must reading. VoSD does a great job, too, covering that territory. The SD U-T does some good stories on the district. The Reader writes this one puff piece on Gompers and jayallen thinks thats definitive reading for all parents with school-age children? Embarrassing …

      • February 3, 2010 - 8:38 am 8:38 am

        Thanks Cuddle, but I haven’t written much about education since Bersin left. Sure you’re not confusing me with Emily Alpert at Voice?

      • CuddleFish permalink
        February 3, 2010 - 9:06 am 9:06 am

        That was a confusing sentence, Kelly, sorry for that, yes I meant back when Bersin was in power. I saved some of your articles, have them in a file, and always refer to them mentally when Bersin shows up in the news. Some amazing work, you should be proud. In case you don’t know it, you are a real good and great person to some of us in the Latino community.

        And yes, like Emily Alpert’s work at VoSD.

    • PistolPete permalink
      February 2, 2010 - 11:46 pm 11:46 pm

      “A former CityBeat staffer once told me she thinks of Mr. Combs as “The guy who peed in our pool so often, almost everyone else had to get out and shower,” but that’s kinda hard to fit on a coffee mug.”

      That’s fuckin’ GOLD right there!!!! I don’t give a fuck who ya are! That’s hilarious!

    • February 2, 2010 - 11:50 pm 11:50 pm

      Thanks for that. I’ll give them a read some time tomorrow. But, in the future, could you please, please spell my name correctly?

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 3, 2010 - 5:45 am 5:45 am

        Dave, could you do us all a favor and just change your name? Holy crap, two A’s and 2 S’s? Whatever happened to “less is more”? “Mas” sounds good enough. And in Spanish, that means, “More.”

        And actually, if you want a great recent cover story from the Reader, I recommend:

        It’s the most engaging cover story in the Reader I’ve read in years. It’s quite polarizing, and questions the true definition of the how the 2nd Amendment applies in today’s society.

    • Seth Combs permalink
      February 3, 2010 - 3:34 am 3:34 am

      I suppose I am “Ken Leighton Lite” since I actually report on stories, don’t sensationalize and have never make up quotes and facts. Guess it sucks to be me then. In any case, I want that mug.

    • Seth Combs permalink
      February 3, 2010 - 3:39 am 3:39 am

      And I have a hard time believing anyone actually said that since you simply made up your last “overheard” quote about me. Not saying that nobody ever would say that, it’s just that former CityBeat staffers are rarely that clever.

  30. February 2, 2010 - 11:58 pm 11:58 pm

    Apologies, Mr. Maass – sticky keyboard. Can’t imagine why…that lube is s’posed to be insta-dry…

  31. PistolPete permalink
    February 3, 2010 - 12:50 am 12:50 am

    *brown chicken brown cow* ;-D

  32. Will K Shilling permalink
    February 3, 2010 - 7:42 am 7:42 am

    I was there when Southland brought in our carpetbagging ringers from Ventura — Mr. Rolland and Ms. Davis — and they turned my employer, SLAMM magazine, into San Diego CityBeat — the first alternative weekly in thirty years to successfully mount an alternative weekly challenge to the big, bad Reader.

    And San Diego is a much healthier place for public discourse and local politics and cultural exchange, because of it.

    I just wanted to remind my man Rolland of what I once said about our politics at CityBeat: We’re so far left we walk in circles.

    Like much of this marathon discussion has gone, but in nevertheless, enjoyable ways. It was like a merry go round, with some valid points and many irrelavent ones, but I still think the Reader started the (perceived) hostilities between the papers, when they tried to sabatoge our newly launched rag back in the day, by stealing our street boxes and undercutting our ad reps and lying to advertisers.

    Not to mention the mission a certain music “reporter” seemed to be on to somehow discredit — or otherwise snipe and dis and talk shit about — the various projects of my good friends Kevin Hellman and Troy Johnson. Both of whom did so much more healthy and constructive things for the San Diego music and arts scene than Leighton’s toxic, yellow lies will ever do.

    Obviously, I am deeply biased here, but I thought some context on how at least some of the antagonism began.

    So, considering that beginning, plus the simple fact that it’s always been a David-v-Goliath rivalry, in a super-comptetive (and shrinking) market, I think the valid issues CityBeat (and Rolland) covered regarding Holman/Reader were given extremely thorough, fair and sober treatment.

    It could only be described as anything less than professional by someone who lacks some basic knowledge of journalistic standards and ethics.

  33. Reader Envy permalink
    February 3, 2010 - 8:54 am 8:54 am

    I’m so weary of the “cool kids” at CB and VoSD … check out how often they inanely tweet back and forth, often making demeaning snarks about their competitor, The Reader (when they aren’t tweeting like good insider buddies with the Sanders flak, Rachel Laing).

    Matt Potter, Don Bauder, Ernie Grimm, and Joe Deegan, among others, have long-time, well-developed writers’ skills. The write stories that outclass all of the wannabe journo kids at CB and VoSD, but that doesn’t stop the kids from saying stupid things about these great Reader writers.

    And isn’t it just too wonderful that CB and VoSD can interview and talk to the San Diego City staff but that the City shuts out The Reader? (And do follow CB and VoSD staffers’ insider buddy tweets with the Sanders’ flak, Rachel.) Why would that be? BECAUSE…CB and especially VoSD would never in a 1000 years write articles revealing the corruption, law-breaking, and insider shit that represents the Sanders administration.

    To the young staffers at CB and VoSD – some of whom can write and others …ugh, yech – access is everything. Oh, and take a hard look at the owners of VoSD…all hard-right big-time Republican donors. And that’s the party that pushes anti-gay rights.

    Smug, mean, inexperienced, and self-absorbed best describes CB and VoSD staff.

    • February 3, 2010 - 10:27 am 10:27 am

      So which one of those reader writers are you?

    • February 3, 2010 - 10:28 am 10:28 am

      And I add, people who can’t post with their real names deserve little respect. Don’t be a loser and stand behind those words.

  34. February 3, 2010 - 9:21 am 9:21 am

    @ Reader Envy: I’m sure others with the stats and specifics can point out exactly why you’re opinion of the quality of writing at those three publications is unnecessarily partisan (the sheer number of SD Press Club Awards CB and VoSD have won, for instance).

    But beyond that, no one at CityBeat has derided the quality of the writers at the Reader (other than, as always, a certain music “writer” most agree is unethical and dishonest), that I know of… EVER.

    So not only are you the equivilant of a “plant” on a review website, you’re not even on topic for this thread, genius.

  35. PistolPete permalink
    February 3, 2010 - 12:30 pm 12:30 pm

    This is the best catfight ever!

  36. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 3, 2010 - 5:10 pm 5:10 pm

    so i didn’t hear back from Rolland on this blog about if he wanted me to show him his bitchy digs at the Reader. Instead this Shilling guy chirps up. Come to find out he’s a guy who used to work at City Beat before he got fired. Twice.
    You guys can do better than that.

    • February 4, 2010 - 7:24 am 7:24 am

      Another commenter who’s too scared to stand behind his words with a real name? We should make a wall of anonymous losers or something, around here.

      • Shane Finneran permalink
        February 4, 2010 - 8:36 am 8:36 am

        Good of you to add your last name to the mix, Justin. Always nice to see people live up to their own admonishments of others.

        As for the necessity of disclosing one’s true identity in discussions like these, I’d argue that – outside of folks whose identity lends context to their opinions, like CityBeat and Reader employees – true identity doesn’t matter. What do you need to know people’s names for? Are you going to try to track them down outside this forum?

    • February 4, 2010 - 7:42 pm 7:42 pm

      Forcing people to use their real names lends an air of civility and credibility to their comments. Mr. Huddleston wouldn’t be so bold if he had to let all of you know who he really is. But he won’t, because Mr. Huddleston knows that if people really knew who he was, the things he says here would reflect pretty badly on him.

      You can’t take someone’s opinion for what it’s worth until you really know who they are.

  37. February 3, 2010 - 11:28 pm 11:28 pm

    @ KPH. That’s better. Good boy.

    CityBeat can always do better; and as long as we all agree the town is better off because it exists, we’re not sounding so vindictive and ignorant. And little CityBeat children and VoSD and SD Reader children can come together and judge things on the content of their, ahem, content.

    But, I live at the corner of Dwight & 32nd if you’d like to discuss it further; it may be a while before Dave doesn’t respond to your confusing first post.


    • SDaniels permalink
      February 9, 2010 - 1:29 am 1:29 am

      ” I live at the corner of Dwight & 32nd if you’d like to discuss it further”

      Oh my god–Spiffy, is that you? SpliffAdamz?

  38. February 3, 2010 - 11:33 pm 11:33 pm

    Actually, KPH, I’ll be honest. That’s all your question your rated: CityBeat assigned a guy who’s been fired twice to respond to it officially. You gotta do a lot better to rate the editor’s attention, punchy.

    • Shane Finneran permalink
      February 4, 2010 - 8:41 am 8:41 am

      As someone who has little or no emotional investment (or financial interest) in this debate, I feel compelled to remind everyone of that age-old rule of debating – that incorporating personal digs into your arguments rarely if ever bolsters your case. Instead, it distracts, and also tends to suggest your arguments aren’t strong enough to stand on their own.

      • February 5, 2010 - 1:26 am 1:26 am

        Here, here, SF. As in the dream I had: little CityBeat children and VoSD and SD Reader children can come together and judge things on the content of their, ahem, content.

  39. Mr. Hands permalink
    February 4, 2010 - 12:53 am 12:53 am

    Anyone have the feeling that Refriendgringo is an ex-Southland Publishing employee with an axe to grind? Any idea who it is???

    • PistolPete permalink
      February 4, 2010 - 1:19 am 1:19 am

      I’m fairly certain refried’s NEVER worked for Southland before. I COULD be wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m correct.

  40. refriedgringo permalink
    February 4, 2010 - 1:19 am 1:19 am

    Nice try, Mr. Hands. I’ve been living in Mexico since long before Southland was ever a gleam in Flannery’s eye. I am delighted, however, that you not only spelled my name incorrectly (on purpose, perhaps?), you used the same exact cliche that I used a few comments back. Hmm.

    Anyone have the feeling that Mr. Hands is Refriedgringo with an axe to grind?

  41. February 4, 2010 - 9:22 pm 9:22 pm

    Great point, Shane. Thanks for reminding us; and I would not have answered that guy’s posts at all, except that he included so many errors of fact along with his snide and obviously hostile tone. When folks start unfairly (and anonymously) insulting the editorial staff at CB in service of their own deceptive or nefarious agenda; that I cannot abide.

    • refriedgringo permalink
      February 5, 2010 - 12:31 am 12:31 am

      “When folks start unfairly (and anonymously) insulting the editorial staff at CB in service of their own deceptive or nefarious agenda; that I cannot abide.”

      But it’s okay to insult the Reader under the same circumstances, right? I need to know what your sense of fairness is, WKS. Admitting your bias and then claiming neutrality is just a little bit too Swiss.

      • February 5, 2010 - 1:23 am 1:23 am

        I never claimed to be neutral nor unbiased. But read the comment I was replying to. It was a personal attack on David Rolland and the CB writers. We have NEVER insulted or attacked the Reader editorial staff in that way — the closest we’ve come is rightly calling out Ken Leighton on his unethical, unbelievably mean-spirited and dishonest bullshit.

        But that’s not the point of this thread. Which was also my point in replying to “KPH” (whomever that really is), he was completely off point and wrong and in being a dick for no good reason, especially when the CB-affiliated posts (as mine is; I’m a regular contributor and former staffer, who by the way, was NEVER fired) when out of their way to make it clear they had no problem with the other writers and editors at the Reader.

        That’s my sense of fairness; if CB folks had EVER gone after the Reader editorial staff in theat way, you’d have a good point. It’s just not the case, though.

        It’s Holman who’s got the questionable record in this merry go round of silliness.

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 5, 2010 - 2:29 am 2:29 am

        Forget about Leighton, let’s talk about Holman. Basically, CB is attempting to link Holman to the content of the Reader. It’s trying REALLY hard to do that. The accusations include being anti-abortion (*gasp*, for shame!) and pro-Catholic (*double-gasp*, holy hell, someone actually goes to church!). Grasping. For. Straws. Trying to tie that into the content of the Reader will prove to be impossible, because it simply isn’t true.

        No one at the Reader has gone after any writers (save for Board, but that was also the fault of a CB writer for lighting his fuse), – not on the website blogs nor in print. CB, however, feels compelled to do this, to go after Holman, based on religious and moral beliefs. Which are apparently illegal and unethical, because no one is permitted to have such beliefs. Right?

        The point of this thread and of this entry is to discredit Holman and the Reader. At least be honest enough to admit that. I don’t buy Maass’ bullshit about it begging for discussion, because the obvious intent of this entry is being ignored. And the intent of the author is being defended based solely on one’s alliance to whatever weekly (remember, we’re talking FREE THROW-AWAY WEEKLY’S HERE!) one writes for or enjoys reading more.

        The closest the Reader has come to anything mischievous was in last week’s publication when someone wrote an column that was obviously satirical. And the first one there was Rolland, asking that the Reader note that what he admitted was obvious satire be denoted as such. You know, just in case any of the really stupid people who read the Reader couldn’t figure that out in the first place.

        Come on, WKS. Do we really need to redefine what is or isn’t unbelievably mean-spirited and dishonest bullshit?

      • February 5, 2010 - 12:00 pm 12:00 pm

        I’ll jump in here only because a woman’s right to choose is incredibly important to me.

        Jim Holman’s put more than $5 million of his own money into three failed ballot initiatives. Those ballot measures have all sought to amend the state constitution’s guarantee of privacy for any woman seeking an abortion. Why has he been able to do that? Because he’s made a small fortune from the Reader. And, as I’ve pointed out, the Reader’s offices have doubled as headquarters for the ballot measures as well as for Holman’s online publication, California Catholic Daily. I’m a born-and-raised Catholic and the religion portrayed in Cal Catholic—one that’s overly obsessed with abortion and homosexuality—is not the religion I grew up with.

        We’ve never implied that Holman uses the pages of the Reader to advance his political agenda; rather, he uses the income generated from those pages to advance his political agenda. He’s free to do that, just as I’m free to say that it stinks. Five million fucking dollars. That money could have gone to much better use, like after-school programs for girls at risk of getting pregnant or free daycare for single mothers who are struggling to hold down a job, go to school and take care of a kid.

      • Shane Finneran permalink
        February 5, 2010 - 12:44 pm 12:44 pm

        Kelly et al, I’ll ask again, what does CityBeat owner Flannery do with the money he makes from your paper? If Reader readers and advertisers should care about Holman’s personal expenditures, shouldn’t the same standard apply to Flannery?

        In the absence of discussion of why Flannery should be exempted from the same scrutiny applied Holman, this storyline strikes me as less about raising awareness and more about raising funds.

      • February 5, 2010 - 2:30 pm 2:30 pm

        When has Southland been accused of being a sole proprietorship?

      • Shane Finneran permalink
        February 5, 2010 - 2:54 pm 2:54 pm

        Sole proprietorship is just a particular form of ownership structure, like “corporation” or “limited liability company.” And form of ownership doesn’t change the fact that, if there is only one owner, that person gets all the profits at the end of the day.

        For example, maybe CityBeat or its parent company is set up as a corporation. If that were the case, and if Flannery owned all the corporation’s shares, he’d still be the owner, just like Holman owns the Reader.

        If, in one form or another, Flannery is not the sole owner of CityBeat, than that would be a difference between his control and Holman’s. But no one in this conversation has indicated that Flannery is not the sole owner.

      • February 5, 2010 - 3:13 pm 3:13 pm

        I don’t see how Flannery is relevant in this context. He’s not being sued, he’s not being accused of running Southland corporation as a sole proprietorship and he’s not filing and funding ballot measures.

        As I mentioned before, his only apparent political involvement has been a couple thousand donated to Bush and the RNC.

      • Shane Finneran permalink
        February 5, 2010 - 4:42 pm 4:42 pm

        Thanks, Mr. Maass, that’s what I was looking for. Did a search for ‘Bush’ on this page and saw your earlier note, too, which I had missed.

        I think the info that Flannery has put a few thousand into Bush/RNC gives valuable context to the argument that supporting Reader is supporting Holman’s pro life agenda. I personally disagree with both donations, but recognize that the magnitude of Holman’s support of pro-life dwarfs Flannery’s support of Bush & Co.

        Not that I’m going to withhold support of either the Reader or CityBeat based on this info. Neither owner’s donations strike me as egregious enough to deny myself the enjoyment of their publications. (If either owner had given millions to the RNC, however, I’d be through with his products, as I think that party and its representatives have brought more suffering into the world than a pro-lifer ever could.)

      • February 8, 2010 - 9:40 pm 9:40 pm

        Shane – thanks for the comment on my CalPERS story.

    • February 5, 2010 - 4:53 pm 4:53 pm


      I think its slightly more complicated than that.

      If Flannery gives a couple thousand of his own money to a candidate or party, we’re talking about a personal, not corporate, contribution.

      If Holman is the Reader, and not salaried, but a sole proprietor who owns everything, then the issue is whether he’s using the Reader’s funds and resources to fund ballot initiatives.

  42. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 5, 2010 - 12:19 pm 12:19 pm

    My original points:
    =Editor Rolland has made plenty of petty digs at the Reader, even though he lied and said he didn’t. Still stands even though he denies it.
    =SD City Beat will follow its sister paper to the North and cease publication. Still to be revealed.
    =Will Shilling was absolutely fired from City Beat. I spoke to someone who was there at the time. He may want to hide that, but facts are facts. Dude,if I had your creepy reputation I would not be sticking my neck out like this. I’m sure Rolland and Davis can defend their own paper. Don’t embarrass you or them. I’m surprised you even used your real name.

    • February 5, 2010 - 2:31 pm 2:31 pm


    • February 5, 2010 - 7:19 pm 7:19 pm

      Where’s the point where you tell us your name so we can know where you were fired from? I talked to someone who said you were.

      • February 8, 2010 - 3:15 pm 3:15 pm

        who are you asking for a name? my username is my real name, if it’s me your asking.

    • February 6, 2010 - 8:46 am 8:46 am

      For the last time, I was NOT fired and you need to stop writing that I was. You’ve been warned it’s not the case, and legal action is justified if you continue to publish any further claims to the contrary.

      Sorry, folks, please continue your respectful and spirited discussion — it may be striking some raw nerves all around, but it’s an ongoing issue that DOES beg the questions we need to ask about our local media outlets.

  43. adamvieyra permalink
    February 5, 2010 - 12:20 pm 12:20 pm

    I think Dave Maass raises a fair question. It looks like some of you are misreading this blog post (and unnecessarily turning it into a pissing contest).

    Dave is not making any associations between Holman’s politics and the CONTENT of The Reader, he’s just talkin’ lawsuits and financing. And he’s not reaching, he’s just reporting a fact and asking a question.

    Also, regarding “the point of this.” I don’t see how calling Jim Holman pro-life and pointing out that his income from The Reader likely aids that cause is at all “discrediting” or “mean spirited.” Again, that’s just a reporter, uh, reporting.

    BTW: Yes, I work at CityBeat, but no, nobody told me to write this. So, K. Paul, please don’t make fun of me.

  44. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 5, 2010 - 4:05 pm 4:05 pm

    You make a very good point. Your logic and good intent are clear.
    My initial point was only that I don’t think Rolland could not honestly say he didn’t throw out a lot of digs at the Reader, most of which I thought were petty. He may dispute the petty part but he cannot dispute that he did it.
    And my other point…..Will Shilling….oy vey!

  45. refriedgringo permalink
    February 5, 2010 - 4:34 pm 4:34 pm

    Dave Maass wrote:

    “Here’s some food for thought: If Holman is inseparable from the Reader, then should the pro-choice community hold the Reader accountable for all the pro-life “parental notification” ballot initiatives Holman has filed?”

    Kelly Davis wrote:

    “We’ve never implied that Holman uses the pages of the Reader to advance his political agenda…”

    Kids, you really need to have meetings concerning exactly HOW you want to go about discrediting Holman and the Reader before you write such nonsense. Otherwise, you seem to disagree. Good luck with the crusade!

    • February 5, 2010 - 4:44 pm 4:44 pm

      My statements and Kelly’s don’t contradict one another.

      I am asking whether pro-choice advocates may connect Holman’s ballot initiatives and his newspaper because of finances. I never suggested that Holman puts pro-life messages in the newspaper.

      Kelly says he doesn’t use the pages to advance his agenda, but rather, he uses the profits from the paper to do so.

      This is the heart of the debate.

      If Holman put pro-life editorial in the newspaper there would be no question as to how pro-choice advocates would respond. The question is whether the finances are connection enough. I’m not convinced at this point that they are. Kelly is.

    • February 6, 2010 - 10:57 am 10:57 am

      Nice selective quoting, refried. And you were once a journalist? What I said was: “We’ve never implied that Holman uses the pages of the Reader to advance his political agenda; rather, he uses the income generated from those pages to advance his political agenda.”

      This isn’t about having some sort of unified front. For me, it’s about personal values. I believe in a woman’s right to choose and I strongly oppose any efforts to undermine that. Even if I didn’t work at CityBeat, I wouldn’t pick up the Reader because of that.

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 6, 2010 - 4:01 pm 4:01 pm

        Kelly, what you are implying is that Holman uses the pages of the Reader to advance his income BECAUSE he uses the income generated by those pages to advance his agenda. And you call yourself a journalist? Read what you’re writing.

        You are using CityBeat to advance your personal agenda, you’re admitting that here. Then, aren’t you the pot calling out the kettle?

  46. refriedgringo permalink
    February 5, 2010 - 7:26 pm 7:26 pm

    Dave, you are pressing the threshold of semantics. What both of you are attempting to do is to call the Reader a “pro-life” publication based on the agenda of the owner. Then, CityBeat is a pro-Bush, pro-Republican publication, right? Flannery might not profit from his weeklies, but his printing facility certainly does. And he has, by your own admission, contributed to the Republican party. The Republican party is mostly “pro-life”. Therefore, when you question Holman’s connection then you might as well question Flannery’s connection.

    Let’s pretend that Holman owned a mansion and a fleet of expensive cars and threw lavish parties every night. Now let’s pretend that Holman donated all of his profits to the Catholic church to do with what they pleased. Since Kelly and yourself state that you don’t see a connection of such activities with the content of the Reader, what real difference does it make what Holman does with his money? Only one: That his competition could use it to try and cut into his profits. The heart of the debate is that CityBeat is in denial concerning how it chooses to compete with other weeklies.

    • February 5, 2010 - 7:58 pm 7:58 pm

      I’ll explain it again more clearly.

      Kelly was specifically talking about THE CONTENT. As near as we can tell Jim Holman IS NOT forcing writers and editors to follow his agenda with their writing.

      I have not come to a conclusion on this, that’s why I asked. I am curious and I like weighing the issue.

      By your own admission you’ve only read these two blog posts I’ve written. Why not go read a few other piece I’ve written and get a better idea of who we are and how we compete?

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 5, 2010 - 9:25 pm 9:25 pm

        “As near as we can tell Jim Holman IS NOT forcing writers and editors to follow his agenda with their writing.”

        Then Dave, again, I have to question why you bother with this stuff and the Board fiasco. If you want to make SD CityBeat a better competitor to the Reader, then why not do it with the content alone? Or, go after the advertising that Holman won’t consider?

        I have recently read several articles in SD CityBeat. The writing formula isn’t much different that the Reader. The Reader is probably more quirky and might have a more broad appeal, it is a very eclectic publication. CityBeat seems to be more focused on attracting a certain core.

        I can’t entirely recommend a way to compete, but it seems sort of fruitless to compete by touting that CityBeat is what the Reader isn’t. Bush won two elections because the Democratic party couldn’t pull its head out of its ass other than to say, “We are what Bush isn’t.” That formula doesn’t work. I think that if you want to compete with a publication that has broad appeal, then you also need to have broad appeal.

        Have columnists that focus on certain ideas, but have others that write without so much focus. Appeal to that elderly woman, and that young guy. Appeal to a democrat and a republican. Appeal to a Catholic and to an atheist. Appeal to a pro-lifer and to someone who is pro-choice.

        Stop taking sides. That’s what I would do.

  47. refriedgringo permalink
    February 5, 2010 - 7:40 pm 7:40 pm

    “I’m a born-and-raised Catholic and the religion portrayed in Cal Catholic—one that’s overly obsessed with abortion and homosexuality—is not the religion I grew up with.”

    Kelly, I have no idea where you went to church, but the Catholics have always been obsessed with anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality, anti-birth control, and a big giant plate of guilt, to go. In fact, obsessed is not a good word to use, never mind “overly obsessed”, which implies that obsession is okay so long as it isn’t overdone. Catholics draw these lines and that’s it. If you are implying that the Catholic church needs an overhaul, then you’re not a Catholic and the argument using your “born and raised” status as some sort of qualifier isn’t valid.

    In other words, if you have a problem with the Catholic church, blame the Pope, not Holman.

    Also note: I haven’t even divulged where I stand on any of these issues that are nebulous to the “discussion” that Dave is ostensibly seeking. To what point does your “pro-choice” opinion affect your argument? In other words, why should the consumer of SD CityBeat care if you are “pro-choice”? Further, why should they care if you’re a woman?

    • CuddleFish permalink
      February 6, 2010 - 12:40 am 12:40 am

      No, actually, until recently the Church has never been overly obsessed, or even obsessed with abortion or homosexuality. There is an article in the Reader that goes right to this point, which used to be very much the enlightened pragmatic attitude of the Church I grew up in. The Church I knew growing up was obsessed with social justice, with ending the war in Vietnam, with civil rights, with ending poverty.

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 6, 2010 - 2:34 am 2:34 am

        Yes, the Catholic church was obviously obsessed with social justice and civil rights when it refused to address the holocaust during the second World War, ignited and sponsored the Crusades, and cheered on the inquisition. While I wasn’t there, I’ve read a lot about it. In the last few hundred years, the Catholic church has continued such wonderful causes, especially here in Mexico. After all, abortion is still illegal here, a carry-over of the church you grew up in. All the while they’ll preach to an impovershed family of twelve that birth control is not an option. There is power in numbers.

        As for homosexuality from the Catholic viewpoint:

        This was taught to me at catechism when I was very young. I am forty-eight years old now. I am going to presume that this was taught many generations before me. Of course, back then, mass was in Latin. And homosexuality was a disease.

        My first point is that I wasn’t in your church, nor Kelly’s. Perhaps they were progressive somehow, I couldn’t say. But in every Catholic church I’ve attended, it’s been the same. There is no such thing as semi-Catholic.

        My second point is that I don’t deny nor argue anyone’s perspective about religion, it is what it is. But, by the same rule, I can’t argue Holman’s either. I respect those who behave according to what they believe. Even if I don’t agree with it.

    • February 6, 2010 - 11:04 am 11:04 am

      Like with any religion, there are more radical factions. Not all Catholics believe that what the Pope says is the end-all rule to live by. Ugh. You know what—I’m tired of arguing with you. I’ve made my point. Peace out.

      • refriedgringo permalink
        February 6, 2010 - 7:01 pm 7:01 pm

        “Not all Catholics believe that what the Pope says is the end-all rule to live by.”

        Run that by any Catholic priest. He’ll set you straight. And he won’t be a homosexual, and HE won’t be a female. Keep the faith!

  48. LaJollaLion permalink
    February 5, 2010 - 10:25 pm 10:25 pm

    It might be interesting to note that when the UT was bought by Platinum Equity, it printed an article about Tom Gores that included the following quote:

    “And if he keeps the U-T alive, will Gores change the paper’s mainstream Republican editorial slant regarding Middle East policy, as exemplified by an editorial the paper ran on December 30 of last year? Israeli air strikes against the Palestinians in Gaza represented “A justified attack,” the U-T opined. “It’s worth remembering, too, that Hamas, not Israel, broke a negotiated six-month cease-fire by lobbing rockets into Israeli towns in order to provoke retaliation, thereby helping its cause in the international arena and in Gaza.”

    Although this has just become a back and forth, it is a good idea for the different media in San Diego to report on each other. You can tie the SD Readers strong anti-development stance to Holman’s Catholic faith, if you wanted, as well. But, I would think that on this anti-development stance is in agreement with CityBeat.

    All I can hope this explicit competition that seems to be developing/building between the writers/bloggers at the Reader and CityBeat lead to better articles and scoops as to what is going on the region, and not just sniping on blogs and twitter, etc.

  49. Senator Tankerbell permalink
    February 7, 2010 - 12:22 pm 12:22 pm

    Interesting arguments from all sides. But alas, I could not justify boycotting a pub because a publisher uses the profits to fund interests and organizations more in line with his personal beliefs. Would you stop driving on a highway because the boss of the guy who paves the roads attends anti-abortion rallies? Prolly not. Would you drop your health insurance because you have heard they have cancelled covereage to thousands for no reason what so ever? Likely no. Would you stop buying bananas from the banana dealer if you found out that he once tried to pay Sarah Palin $500 to speak at his son’s birthday party? Maybe, but likely no- especially if he had delicious bananas. If the Reader’s content was more in line with it’s publishers ideals, I prolly wouldn’t pick it up at all. But if that paper leans in any direction, it is the direction of the bland. And that’s not knocking on it either. It’s success is probably attributable to it’s non-threatening appeal. If you zero in too heavily on either the right or left you’re gonna alienate half of your potential readers from the start. I don’t think it’s any mystery as to why you never see any CityBeat dispensers around the Cove in La Jolla. The rich people don’t want that liberal hippy shit contaminating their hood. As for myself, I prefer the liberal hippie shit, and would continue to support it even if the publisher was using some of the proceeds to fund future Creed albums cause that is just how I roll, yo.

  50. February 8, 2010 - 8:36 pm 8:36 pm

    The Reader is suffering badly. I’m not real surprised they ripped off their printer of 35 or so years. Its a pattern that’s developed recently. This lack of loyalty is born out of desperation on Holman’s part. After a twenty five year relationship, the Reader’s distributor quit in 2008 with a sense of frustration in the shift in internal culture at the paper (read: dog eat dog) and knowing the end was near. This was the company that built the Reader’s circulation into the phenomenon it was, the system they tout on their web site. All gone… Sad to see… Last I heard, people in the Reader office we’re getting stress headaches wondering about who would get the axe next. The longer you worked there…the more likely the axe. I guess plastic surgery ads just don’t pay the bills anymore.

  51. CuddleFish permalink
    February 8, 2010 - 11:33 pm 11:33 pm

    Geez, Josh, bitter, are we?

    • PistolPete permalink
      February 9, 2010 - 12:55 am 12:55 am

      I doubt that’s Josh. I only counted one punctual error.

  52. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 9, 2010 - 11:30 am 11:30 am

    The Reader “is suffering badly”…..hmmm….funny…..didn’t SD City Beat’s paper to the north just fold last year. And some weeks doesn’t City Beat have 28 pages? Don’t City Beat ads go for dirt cheap? I think if you ask around you will find that San Dieguito Publishing in fact did a horrible job. It is my understanding the new printer not only does a generally better job of printing (without staples), but does it for cheaper AND offers full color on all pages instead of just a few. Obviously blogger DB works for City Beat, which is fine. Hey DB, why don’t you tell us what a good idea its been for you to continue to take ads for whores? er…. I mean escorts….and porn. Nothing wrong with these things necessarily, but if that’s how you opt to brand your paper, knock yourself out! So where does this leave you? This leaves you with Will “Don’t say I was fired or I”ll sue” Shilling who was in fact fired from City Beat and is now your defender of record. You guys are pure quality!!

    • February 9, 2010 - 11:39 am 11:39 am

      “And some weeks doesn’t City Beat have 28 pages?”

      That is absolutely false. You are a coward and a liar.

    • Will K Shilling permalink
      February 9, 2010 - 1:32 pm 1:32 pm

      Anonymity suits you perfectly, since you’re the only one who takes your lies seriously. Which is why you hide from both us and them.

      Hey Maass, this guy doesn’t deserve your responses anymore, not until he stops trying to deceive others while concealing himself.

      But my offer to meet up with him and set the record straight still stands.

    • dconagain permalink
      February 13, 2010 - 3:36 pm 3:36 pm

      Relax, this is not MENSA level analysis. You’ll never know how ironic it is that I’m even aware of the recent schenanigans at the Reader. I don’t work for City Beat but, after reading your comments, I wonder which is worse…Surviving by accepting certain ads or…surviving by screwing your friends. This “dog eat dog” attitude is a recent development that surprises many that know Holman and is cause for concern for the same. FYI-I don’t how Will Shilling is even remotely connected to this…and, You don’t keep a company around for 35 years if they’re doing a horrible job. This is about money… and a deep lack of loyalty. Otherwise, what would, by most accounts, cause a “good” man to intentionally bankrupt a company that had been, arguably, so instrumental in his success? Ever wonder how much 100 pages of Reader ads are worth? Get a rate card…do the math. That’s how much money the Reader has lost each week compared to the “good old days of yore”. Then, compare the overhead of CB and the Reader… Desperation changes people.

  53. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 9, 2010 - 11:55 am 11:55 am

    Ok 32…But it has been 28 in the last 12 months…..

    • February 9, 2010 - 12:01 pm 12:01 pm

      Feel free to come down here and peruse our archives, liar.

  54. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 9, 2010 - 12:02 pm 12:02 pm

    every other magazine in the world does not list its cover as page 1 or its inside cover as page 2. According to industry standards, you had plenty of 28 page magazines in the last few weeks. Am I not correct here? Have you ever worked at a real magazine Dave Maass?

    • February 9, 2010 - 12:05 pm 12:05 pm

      That is the industry standard for alt.weeklies. Come down here, Huddleston. Coward.

  55. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 9, 2010 - 12:18 pm 12:18 pm

    The Reader doesn’t count it’s cover or inside front cover as a “page.” I thought you said it was an industry standard. Maybe it’s an industry standard for the City Beat “chain.”

    • February 9, 2010 - 12:23 pm 12:23 pm

      I just went through a bunch of other alt.weeklies outside our publishing group: Willamette Week, Chicago Reader, Leo Weekly, Santa Fe Reporter, Pacific Northwest Inlander… The Reader is the anomaly.

  56. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 9, 2010 - 12:37 pm 12:37 pm

    Interesting… of David Rolland’s rants last year directed at the Reader included one about how small the Reader had gotten at 152 pages. But according to your count it should have been 156. Isn’t that trustworthy?

  57. K. Paul Huddleston permalink
    February 9, 2010 - 1:39 pm 1:39 pm

    question for Dave rolland.

    How about you truthfully disclose here the details of Will Shilling’s departure from SD City Beat?

    • David Rolland permalink*
      February 9, 2010 - 2:36 pm 2:36 pm

      CityBeat does not publicly disclose details of personnel matters. And nothing about that statement should be construed as even implicit confirmation of anything any commenter has said about any current or former employee.

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