|Owner(s)||San Francisco Newspaper Company LLC|
|Editor||Marke Bieschke (interim)|
|Headquarters||135 Mississippi St.
San Francisco, California 94107
The San Francisco Bay Guardian (also known as The SF Bay Guardian, Bay Guardian, and the Guardian) is a free alternative newspaper published weekly in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1966 by Bruce B. Brugmann and his wife, Jean Dibble.
The Bay Guardian is known for reporting, celebrating, and promoting left-wing and progressive issues within San Francisco and (albeit rarely) around the San Francisco Bay Area as a whole. This usually includes muckraking, legislation to control and limit gentrification, and endorsement of political candidates and other laws and policies that fall within its political views. It also has comprehensive movie and music reviews, an annual nude beaches issue, and an annual sex issue. The Bay Guardian is one of several alternative newspapers in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including the SF Weekly (formerly its major competitor, now under the same ownership), East Bay Express, Metro Silicon Valley, North Bay Bohemian, Marin's Pacific Sun and Berkeley Daily Planet.
The Guardian publishes an annual "Best of The Bay" issue that lists the best restaurants, business, and activities in the Bay Area, based on a readers' poll and staff recommendations. Published annually since 1974, The Guardian claims that its "Best Of" issue was the first annual guide of its kind and was copied by other publications.
The Guardian gives the "Goldie Award" annually for excellence in the arts and similar areas.
In 1971, they published The Ultimate Highrise, on the costs of development to the city. In 1975, they published San Francisco Free & Easy: The Native's Guidebook with a revised edition in 1980, edited by William Ristow.
The Guardian put down an attempt by its employees to unionize in the 1970s. In 1975, Guardian staffers, with the aid of Newspaper Guild Local 52 and International Typographical Union Local 21, signed union cards to seek higher wages and benefits. The paper had previously won a legal settlement and moved to a new building. Nevertheless, publisher Bruce Brugmann claimed there were not enough funds to increase pay or benefits. The day after Thanksgiving, he fired five senior staffers who had helped organize the union effort. Newspaper staffers voted to join the Newspaper Guild and, on June 15, 1976, they called a strike to force Brugmann to offer a labor contract. Brugmann retained a few management staff and hired scab replacements. In August, César Chávez offered to mediate the strike, but Brugmann refused. Finally, in 1977, another election was called, but this time votes by replacement workers carried the day and the new staff voted not to join a union.
In March, 2008 The Guardian won a predatory pricing lawsuit against its local rival, the SF Weekly, based on allegations the Weekly undercut The Guardian by selling display advertisements below cost while supporting itself on cash infusions from its parent, Village Voice Media, in an effort to force the Guardian into bankruptcy. In May, 2008 the judge in the case awarded punitive damages, raising the jury's $6.3 million award to $15.9 million, and issuing an injunction prohibiting the SF Weekly from selling advertisements below cost.
On April 19, 2012, the East Bay Express reported that the Canadian owners of the San Francisco Examiner were in negotiations with the Bay Guardian to buy the newspaper. These rumors were denied by its executive editor Tim Redmond.
In mid-June 2013, the San Francisco Business Times and other publications reported that Tim Redmond had "been ousted" as publisher and editor. The Bay Guardian issued a statement quoting new publisher Stephen Buel as saying, "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." However, Redmond denied resigning.