After 30 years with stalwart progressive paper San Francisco Bay Guardian, editor Tim Redmond has been let go by the paper's new owner Todd Vogt of the San Francisco News Paper Company. Redmond, who quickly moved from his old home at the SFBG to a new Blogger account, claims he was axed because of a personnel and editorial dispute.
Here's Redmond, in his inaugural dot blogspot post:
Hi, my friends, all the people I love and care about in this city. I'm sad to announce that after 30 years, I have left the Bay Guardian. I am proud of all the work that we did over those years, but sadly, it has come to an end.
I was informed late last night by the owner, Todd Vogt, that my "resignation" had been accepted, although at no point did I resign.
Todd and I had a major disagreement over personnel and editorial direction, and this is how it ended. I was hoping that if my employment at the paper I have helped build over all these years had to end, it would be on more friendly terms. But alas, that was not to be.
The good news is that Blogger is free, and I will fancy up this blog in the next couple days, and I will continue to present perspectives and news about progressive San Francisco.
Redmond elaborated a little bit to the folks over at Fog City Journal: "At midnight last night I got a letter from Todd saying ‘your resignation is accepted,’ " Redmond told FCJ. "But I never submitted a resignation.” According to another unnamed source in the Guardian, Redmond was let go because he refused to fire three of the paper's six remaining newsroom staffers. On Facebook, Redmond says he was canned with "no severance or even a thanks."
Around the time Vogt's S.F. Newspaper Company bought the SFWeekly in January, Vogt praised Redmond as "the best and most knowledgeable progressive journalist. Period."
Meanwhile, across the office, SF Weekly reports that Redmond departed amid staff cuts. Also leaving the Guardian is culture editor Caitlin Donohue. SFBG staffers have been told that the resignations/layoffs have quelled any more firings within the newsroom for now.
In a letter posted on the Weekly's website, S.F. Newspaper Company vice president Stephen Buel wrote:
The Guardian has been losing money, and we were forced to contemplate some editorial layoffs. Tim decided to resign rather than follow through with what we were discussing. I am dedicated to reversing the Guardian's fortunes and helping it grow again.
While we will all miss Tim's skills as a journalist, I would like to assure the Guardian faithful that it will remain the progressive newspaper of record in San Francisco. I suspect there will be some skepticism about that, but over time, I am confident that readers will not be disappointed.
And for the record, the very first story that I ever wrote as a freelance journalist appeared in the Bay Guardian back in 1981.