Bay Guardian Goodbye

A “leading voice for progressive San Francisco since 1966,” the San Francisco Bay Guardian is being shuttered by its parent company and the paper will circulate its final issue tomorrow.  From the publication’s farewell, all that remains on the Bay Guardian’s site:

As a company, we are proud of the SF Bay Guardian’s legacy as a community watchdog, a publication with stellar reporting and its passion to push for a better city. It gave a voice to many in the city who might have been otherwise shut out of the corridors of power, kept countless city leaders honest and inspired a new breed of journalism across the nation.

We say good-bye to a member of our media family and to an institution that has been a vital advocate for its vision for San Francisco for nearly half a century. The Guardian leaves San Francisco a better city for the role it has played in shaping it these last decades.

While likely commentary on the current economics of journalism as much as, if not more than, anything else, the loss of the publication speaks to the rapidly changing dynamics of San Francisco as well.  Feel free to let us know what you hear.

31 thoughts on “Speaking To A Different San Francisco, Bay Guardian Says Goodbye”
    1. What a juvenile comment. I didn’t always agree with the Bay Guardian but they published a weekly paper for almost 50 years. Quite a few people were taking their “crap” seriously.

      1. There are always a few morons around who will take someone’s “crap” seriously.

        Good riddance to bad rubbish.

      2. Ahh yes i remember the days when the BG had the best “adult ads” in their paper. I remember when they had serious employee problems because they refused to up their pay. I remember the BG support of our Sheriff AFTER the Sheriff agreed to the Judge’s ruling and he enter counseling. Yes the BG, gone and perhaps soon to be forgotten.

      3. Completely agree. Even if you didn’t agree with their views, they shed light on a light of questions that needed to be asked. In recent years it was a shadow of its former self, but it still filled a valuable role in the community.

  1. The Bay Guardian may have been great in its heyday, but it has really gone downhill in recent decades. The Chronicle is far better. I wish the new owners had been successful in improving SFBG instead but, as it stands, I can understand shutting it down.

  2. When I first moved to San Francisco nearly 30 years ago, I learned much about the City from reading the Bay Guardian. As a weekly publication, they had the time to go a bit deeper into issues and included the history and background.

    After a while, the constant rants about PG&E became tiresome, but after the rolling blackouts at the turn of the 21st century and the current problems, they were on to something. And they also exposed quite a bit of wrongdoing over the years that otherwise would have been unreported, in addition to being quality control for the other local media.

    The cynic in me suspects that it was always the plan, when the owners of SF Weekly bought it a few years ago, to shut the Bay Guardian down after an interval. After all, it was established in court that SF Weekly had engaged in predatory pricing of ads in an attempt to kill the Guardian. After losing that battle, they simply bought the competition.

    The few times I picked it up recently, I noticed that what had been a 100 plus page paper in the old days seemed quite thin. Of course, Craigslist killed most of their advertising. Bruce was smart to sell it when he did.

    The sad part is that the website shut down. It would have been a good resource for research. I hope their photo collection and morgue is going to a university or history museum.

  3. have not read the Guardian in years , BUT , it used to be a decent counter point paper in SF ,
    its a shame they could not make it work as a soft copy instead ,

  4. Damn, I was truly looking forward to their upcoming election recommendations with respect to Prop F (Pier 70 authorization) to see if they could actually bring themselves to endorse a major development. I suspect they would have predictably found some basis upon which to fault it.

    Still, having first come to the Bay Area in the 70’s, I have to join in some of the earlier expressions of longing for the paper (and World) that was.

    1. i love their election endorsement issues. It helps me to vote. I just vote the opposite of everything the guardian say, and that makes me feel confident i am doing the moral and just thing

  5. Lets face it – the Guardian was never a newspaper – it was a rolling editorial to promote the political opinions of the owner. It had zero journalistic integrity. I quit responding to their phone calls for quotes after several blatant misquotes. They literally just made things up to bolster their point.

  6. Of course the Guardian was always a rag that mixed editorial and journalism whenever and wherever it felt the need. Sources were dubious, dots were connected with bias, broad sweeping statements made without solid foundation, always. But in its heyday it had the best ear to the ground arts desk in town. That’s what I’ll miss. That’s what I’ve been missing, actually. The newer writers had been emailing stuff in, for years. Now we’re stuck with Aidan Viziri’s punk ass.

  7. Hopefully there will be another outlet equally dedicated to ‘speaking truth to power.’ Pretty difficult for me to swallow most of the editorial views, but they did a good job of calling a spade a spade. Yelp bullying small businesses into buying ads, for example.

    I’m still hoping* for a better press crusade against the state of San Francisco Public Housing in our age of sideshow ‘affordability’ propositions. These would have been the most likely guys to write one.

    *(I know, I know. Waiting for someone else to do it. Putting the pathetic in apathetic.)

  8. This signifies a shift of San Francisco becoming a much more sane and reasonable city. I look forward to the changes that will come to the city over the next decade or two, namely, a city that doesn’t tolerate crazy people peeing and pooping, shooting drugs in public while no one bats an eye, protections of dead beat tenants with crazy five figure and sometimes six figure payouts, restriction of development because it shades a portion of a park on a cloudy week in December (which is already shaded by the trees in said park), ridiculous taxes, regulations, and fees which drive out any hard working person and small businesses, the list goes on. Bring back the once beautiful, shining city, and tell the Guardian and its readership ilk to pack their bags and don’t look back.

    1. Hope you’re right, Dr. Perhaps their readership can relocate to a small college town that can indulge their utopian visions (hallucinations). Use their tenant buy-outs to buy a nice condo crash pad in Madison…

  9. They endorsed Prop F, urging a Yes vote, because it includes 30 percent affordable housing.
    But remember, Tim, Jim, and Bruce are gone. The only names on the masthead that I recognized were critic Dennis Harvey and cartoonist Tom Tomorrow.

  10. Darn, now I’ll only have the SF comical for fish wrap…

    I gave up reading the SFBG when my eyes began bleeding after they reduced the print size to 4 point font.

    1. Unfortunately, at the other end, the Chron’s editorial stances are increasingly becoming worthy of a Phoenix, AZ rag.

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