Vogt Fires Bay Guardian Editor for Refusing to Cut Half of News Staff

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in Media, News

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Published on June 14, 2013 with 23 Comments

San Francisco Bay Guardian Editor Tim Redmond was fired today by San Francisco Newspaper Company publisher Todd  Vogt.  Photo by Luke Thomas.

San Francisco Bay Guardian Editor Tim Redmond was fired today by San Francisco Newspaper Company publisher Todd Vogt. File photo by Luke Thomas.

By Luke Thomas

Editor’s Note, June 15: For the record, Mr. Vogt has lodged a complaint with FCJ, disputing FCJ’s characterization that Mr. Redmond was fired, insisting Redmond resigned.  While Redmond maintains he did not officially resign, which would be accompanied by a (non-existent) formal letter of resignation, Redmond has conceded that after refusing to agree to staff cuts, he discussed helping with his normal duties during a period of “transition.”  It appears that Vogt has construed “transition” to mean an intent to resign.  Bottom line, after 30 years at the Bay Guardian, Redmond has been effectively ousted and departs without a severance package.

June 14, 2013

Todd Vogt, co-owner of the San Francisco Newspaper Company, which owns a growing portfolio of San Francisco print publications, today fired longstanding San Francisco Bay Guardian editor Tim Redmond.

Vogt axed Redmond for refusing to cut three of six newsroom staff, according to a reliable source who did not want to be cited by name because of fear of retribution. Vogt is claiming to others within the organization that Redmond resigned, “which is a lie,” the source said.

Reached by phone, Redmond told FCJ, “At midnight last night I got a letter from Todd saying ‘your resignation is accepted.’ But I never submitted a resignation.”

Asked why he was fired, Redmond said, “Todd and I had a significant disagreement over personnel.”

Todd Vogt

Todd Vogt. Photo by Mike Koozmin.

Redmond, who worked at the Bay Guardian for 30 years, is the second high-profile casualty since Vogt and company began buying up San Francisco print publications, a portfolio that includes the San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In January, Vogt axed SF Weekly editor Tom Walsh.  At the time of Walsh’s termination, Vogt heaped glowing praise upon Redmond saying, “Tim Redmond is the best and most knowledgeable progressive journalist. Period.  Plus he is a phenomenal writer and editor.”

Asked to confirm if Redmond was fired, Vogt told FCJ via email, “No, Tim resigned. Steve Buel appointed Publisher, Marke Bieschke is interim Editor.”

“While I’m sorry to see Tim leave, this gives the Guardian and its staff an opportunity to refresh and invigorate the paper,” Vogt added. “The City has changed dramatically in the 46 years the Guardian has been around and now Marke Bieschke, Steve Jones, Rebecca Bowe and the rest of the staff can help bring new vision to the paper.”

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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