In short, as a newspaper, the Bay Guardian is boring, predictable, one-dimensional, noncredible -- and scattering readers by the droves.
As it has abused journalism and readers, the Bay Guardian has committed a cardinal sin of the business kind. Last year, the paper cut off its relationship with the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the group that most all serious publications use to verify circulation figures. So the Bay Guardian continues to claim that it prints 150,000 papers, but businesses really have no way to verify that claim. The circulation figure is just something the Guardian says, rather than something it swears to.
By decimating whatever journalistic credibility it ever had and, simultaneously, raising questions about the reach and value of the advertising space it sells, Bruce Brugmann's Bay Guardian has shot itself in the gut. Indeed, it must be extraordinarily difficult to sell ads in an unbelievable and tedious newspaper of indeterminate circulation -- especially when there is another weekly in town that verifies its circulation with the ABC and prints some of the nation's best journalism, week after week.
Now, as his "newspaper" bleeds, Bruce Brugmann and his functionaries are staggering around, pointing at ghosts and screaming, "J'accuse!"
Sooner or later, I figure, they'll stagger in front of a mirror.