Village Voice Media Settle Suit With New Owners of 'East Bay Express'

By: E&P Staff Village Voice Media (VVM) and the current owners of the East Bay Express said Tuesday they have settled a lawsuit arising from the 2007 sale of the Oakland, Calif.-area alt-weekly.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

VVM's Eastbay Express Publishing LLP, the newspaper's former owner, had sued the current owners Hal Brody and Stephen Buel, claiming the latter owed $500,000 under the terms of the 2007 sale.

Last June, when the suit was filed, Brody told the San Francisco Bay Guardian that the new owners had not paid the money -- but only because they contended VVM had violated a non-compete clause in the deal that caused the East Bay Express to lose even more potential revenue than that. Brody said at the time that VVM's SF Weekly violated an alleged stricture against soliciting East Bay Express customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

In their joint announcement Tuesday, VVM and East Bay Publishing LLC, Body and Buel's operating company, said "the parties have resolved that dispute, as well as settling all other issues raised by the parties in connection with the transaction."

"We are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement satisfactory to both parties," said Brody. "It puts aside this distraction so we can all concentrate on running our daily business."

In a kidding kicker to the announcement, VVM executive vice president Scott Spear was quoted as saying, "Brody still owes me dinner and a good bottle of wine."


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