An Orange County judge dismissed 33 of 36 libel claims the News-Press had filed against American Journalism Review writer Susan Paterno, who penned an article about the paper’s meltdown last summer. The three remaining claims involve allegations that NP higher-ups killed a news story about editorial page editor Travis Armstong’s DUI sentencing, that owner Wendy McCaw slashed employee benefits, and that the paper construed remarks by former editor Michael Todd as threatening only because he wrote McCaw a stinging letter on newsroom ethics. Because the judge did not dismiss all claims against Paterno, her countersuit against McCaw for abusing the legal process to stifle free speech has suffered a setback.
Candidates for Santa Barbara City Council and mayor may get free publicity this fall, as the council and Santa Barbara Channels are collaborating to produce three-minute video shorts for each politician to be broadcast on SB Channels and the city’s government access channel during the campaign season. The videos will also be available on the council’s Web site. Several details remain to be hammered out, like whether the spots will be free of opponent-bashing.