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Santa Barbara News Press Newspaper

A jury Monday awarded Beverly Hills attorney and businessman Leonard M. Ross $7.5 million in damages from the Santa Barbara News-Press and its owner, the New York Times Co., ruling that they libeled him in investigative reports on his business career. The verdict in Los Angeles Superior Court climaxed a four-week trial in which Ross maintained that the News-Press falsely linked him to the misdeeds of his former partner, Barry S. Marlin.
The joke after reclusive billionaire Wendy McCaw purchased the Santa Barbara News-Press last year was that she bought the paper to make sure it never wrote about her. If so, the plan has been a spectacular failure. McCaw, a vegetarian and historic preservationist who is one of America's richest women, has made one headline after another. The first splash was over her battle to stop the state from creating a public beach at her 24-acre estate.
September 28, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Newsroom employees at the embattled Santa Barbara News-Press voted Wednesday to be represented by a union, though management said it might contest the results. The dispute over the vote is the latest development in a feud between newsroom workers and management at the paper, where nearly every top editor quit earlier this year to protest what they said was meddling by owner Wendy McCaw.
October 12, 2006 | From the Associated Press
About 200 past and current employees of the embattled Santa Barbara News-Press sued the paper Wednesday, contending that it failed to keep accurate time records and stiffed them out of overtime pay. The suit alleges that the newspaper failed to pay overtime to employees who worked more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours a week. It also alleges that the News-Press did not provide its employees with meal and rest periods that are required by California law.
January 1, 2008 | Martin Zimmerman and Victoria Kim, Times Staff Writers
A judge has ruled that the Santa Barbara News-Press committed flagrant violations of federal labor laws when it fired eight journalists for engaging in union activities, and he ordered that the newspaper rehire the former employees. Evidence presented during a 17-day hearing last summer shows "the News-Press' widespread, general disregard for the fundamental rights of the employees," Administrative Law Judge William G. Kocol wrote in a 75-page decision issued last week.
February 7, 2007 | Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writer
Six newsroom employees of the Santa Barbara News-Press were fired this week after they and several former employees hung a large banner over a freeway urging subscribers to boycott the newspaper. The banner, displayed Friday from a bridge over the 101 Freeway, asked motorists to cancel their subscriptions. The protesters also held signs saying "Protect Free Speech."
July 14, 2006 | James Rainey, Times Staff Writer
Normally genteel Santa Barbara convulsed with another round of recrimination Thursday over its daily newspaper -- with owner Wendy McCaw accusing journalists who quit her newsroom en masse of using the paper to air their biases, while one of the defectors slammed the wealthy owner as an amateurish meddler. Much of the fighting was conducted on the front pages of the Santa Barbara News-Press and the alternative weekly the Santa Barbara Independent.
July 8, 2006 | Catherine Saillant and James Rainey, Times Staff Writers
Santa Barbara residents on Friday wondered what would become of the Santa Barbara News-Press following an editorial bloodbath within the 151-year-old local institution's stately walls. Sports Editor Gerry Spratt became the seventh prominent News-Press staffer to quit this week when he dropped off his letter of resignation at the human resources department Friday morning.
December 19, 2006 | Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer
The controversial owner of a Santa Barbara newspaper has sued the author of a magazine article critical of the paper's management, alleging it defamed the paper. The lawsuit calls the American Journalism Review article by Chapman University journalism professor Susan Paterno "nothing but a biased, false and misleading diatribe" against Ampersand Publishing LLC, the holding company of the paper's billionaire co-publisher Wendy McCaw, which owns the Santa Barbara News-Press. The suit, filed Dec.
July 19, 2006 | Catherine Saillant, Times Staff Writer
As reporter Scott Hadly peered out over the more than 500 people gathered Tuesday to protest newsroom changes at the Santa Barbara News-Press, he told the crowd that he was gratified -- and a bit surprised -- by the strong turnout. "Journalists usually are regarded below lawyers in people's perceptions," said Hadly, 42, one of nine News-Press staffers who have resigned in recent weeks over ethical clashes with the paper's billionaire owner, Wendy McCaw. "This is just incredible."
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