Bruce Anderson Folds Pugnacious ‘AVA Oregon’

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By: E&P Staff

Bruce Anderson is folding his AVA Oregon weekly, just three months after he attempted to replicate in the Pacific Northwest the formula that gained nationwide admiration — and local loathing — when he ran the mucking raking Anderson Valley Advertiser in northern California.

AVA Oregon’s phone number has been switched to an unlisted number, a recording Monday afternoon said. Anderson did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

The editor and publisher announced on the front page of AVA Oregon that the current issue, dated Feb. 3, would be its last, according to The Register-Guard in his newly adopted hometown of Eugene, Ore.

“I’m out of money, and out of business,” Anderson wrote, according to the article. “I could borrow but I have no way of paying it back. Start-up costs were quadruple what I’d expected.”

In the article, Anderson said he planned to stay in Eugene, but would help edit the California AVA, which he sold to the newspaper’s wine industry columnist for $20,000, exactly what Anderson paid for the paper in 1984. Anderson said subscribers would receive refunds “when I’ve cleared away the accrued financial wreckage,” he wrote, according to the Register-Guard.

In California, Anderson built a loyal national following with articles from contributors such as the leftist political writer Alexander Cockburn, and with his own iconoclastic reporting on the activities of Mendocino County politicians, judges, schools superintendents, and political activists. Cockburn called him the best weekly editor in the nation.

Anderson also stirred tremendous enmity in some radical environmentalist circles with his reporting on the circumstances of a car bombing that injured the now-deceased activist Judi Bari.

Much of that enmity followed him to Eugene, where some local activists lobbied retailers to refuse to sell the weekly.

Anderson and his new beginning in Eugene were featured in a story in the current issue of E&P. He was also profiled in recent weeks and months by The New York Times and The Sacramento Bee.

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