Posts Tagged ‘The Bold Italic’

OMG, the New The Bold Italic is Here! – A Statement from the New Owners

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Here it is:


Let’s take a look:

“built a great brand over the course of several years.”

Great? Mmmm… Take a look here at the now-defunct Gannett Blog. What TBI was was a way for a Fortune 500 media company to spend millions upon millions on an experiment, one that didn’t work out. Any chance at sustainability was squandered on highly-paid design consultants and also squandered on the crushing rent burden of an expensive reclaimed wood clubhouse betwixt the gritty Twitterloin and trendy Hayes Valley. So, a great tax write-off for Gannett Co, Inc? YES. But a “great brand?” NO.

“we were surprised that TBI was shutting down”

Well, you shouldn’t have been. It was nice that a DC-area corporation could pay people money in SF, but the whole shebang wasn’t real, it wasn’t sustainable.

One of the reasons people love TBI is its focus on the authenticity of the San Francisco experience…” 

Objection, Your Honor – this clause assumes facts not in evidence. At least they aren’t evident to me. Sorry, but I gots to keep it real, I gots to be authentic.


Oh. I think we hit Peak World Class about a half-decade back, just saying. And even back then, I wouldn’t apply that phrase to this Curate’s egg of a website.

Having said all that, bygones. Some are optimistic while others are skeptical, to say the least, but let’s see how The New Bold Italic does.

After all, we all deserve a chance at a new start*…


*Including The Sans Serif…**

**But is this a new start? “Great article from on whether the article about “The Really Big One” was credible” Did I miss something? It seemed pretty credible to me…

Advice for Newcomers: Here’s Why the Rent’s Cheaper Out in the West Side, Out in The Avenues, in The Sunset and The Richmond

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

So I don’t get this bit about The Avenues, this little ditty that’s all about informing supposed “misinformed newcomers,” ’cause it’s coming from the greatest Misinformed San Francisco Newcomer of all: Gannett Co. Inc’s The Bold Italic, a blog about the SF Bay Area and, oddly, Los Angeles too, a little bit.

I’ll tell you, I know all about the Richmond and Sunset Districts. I’ve actually lived out there, believe it or not, during part of my quarter-century in the City and County (but mostly the City) of SF. And, I’ll tell you, these quite similar areas have their good points, but also they have their bad points.

And one, just one, of these bad points is the Avenues are cut off from the rest of the city, owing to geography. And this fact isn’t helped by our famously-horrible transit system (which might at some point get better, like a BART subway to La Playa or something) but also our poorly-designed network of roads (which is congested already, by design, and is only going to get slower, by design). Things are so bad out there that bike riders are tempted use streetcar-only tunnels to get back to the City Proper.

And then there’s the fog issue, which isn’t going away no matter what. Some people living out there claim it doesn’t really exist. But it does, I knows it.

And then there’s the concomitant ironic naming issue. Let’s start with The SUNset District. Cover your eyes, avert your gaze, West Bay residents:

“If you start at the Bay Bridge and head west along most major streets in San Francisco, you’ll eventually get to a magical land of misery known as the Sunset. The name is a joke, and perhaps even a way to trick tourists: The sun rarely visits the Sunset, not even when it sets. The primary weather element in the Sunset is fog—thick, endless, depressive clouds of it that wash up from the ocean to completely saturate the land. I lived in the Sunset for a single, terrible year. Before I moved there, I used to be one of those snobby city-dwellers who’d look down on suburbanites who couldn’t handle San Francisco’s famously capricious climate. I’d heard the Sunset’s weather wasn’t great, but hey, how bad could it be?

It was bad. Too bad for me; after our lease was up, my wife and I moved to the suburbs. Looking back, what bothered me most wasn’t the terrible climate—though I did hate it—but the vast difference between the Sunset’s weather and the weather everywhere else. Whatever meteorological patterns applied in normal parts of San Francisco didn’t seem to apply to the Sunset, which meant that forecasts for the city held no sway there. If the weatherman said it was going to be 80 and sunny, it was probably 55 and cloudy at my house.

And now, let’s move on to The Richmond District:

“Did the sand dunes in the northwest corner of the city look like Richmond, Australia? One story for the naming of the district is that early settler George Turner Marsh thought so, and named the area around his home such. (Other sources credit a neighborhood booster named George Fletcher for suggesting the name.)”

I’ll tell you, the average daytime temperature in Richmond, Victoria [not the other Richmond in NSW, which is prolly even hotter], Australia these days is 84 degrees freaking Fahrenheit – isn’t it ironic, dontcha think?

So, transportation and climate are just two reasons why rents are lower Out There in The Outer Lands, in the Great Sand Waste, you know, in comparison with the City Proper.

I could go on and on, and, as a matter of fact, I have, and it pisses some people off. Sorry. I just don’t understand why certain people are so defensive about where they live.

So enjoy your pride, Avenues People…


…but please don’t mislead those “misinformed newcomers,” as you call them.

Especially if you yourself is a well-financed but struggling start-up blog hailing from a Fortune 500 company out of Northern Virginia…

Writer C.W. Nevius Makes Amends for “This Isn’t Oakland” with His Gay Games Bit? – SFAA v. USOC IRL

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Poor CW Nevius is still smarting over the drubbing he took over “This isn’t Oakland.” Check it:

 Dec 9  Hey Jessica. If you are going to write something like that, you might want to check in with me. I’m pretty reasonable.
Here’s what he’s so mad about:


See how that works? You all need to check in with CW himself before you criticize him – that’s the rule. It’s a kind of YOU DON’T KNOW ME! defense, one supposes.

So that’s the context.

Now look! San Francisco Chronicle’s right-of-center Everyman has lurched across the aisle with this recent effort about the local history of the Gay Olympics / Gay Games:

S.F. backstory to Olympics’ new policy on gays, by C.W. Nevius

Now here’s your real back story. First, bone up on this:

Amateur Sports Act of 1978

And then see the court case that explains why the term Gay Games is kosher but Gay Olympics isn’t. A 7-2 decision, more or less:

San Francisco Arts & Athletics, Inc. v. United States Olympic Committee

Here’s my point – what Nevius is saying is that the USOC’s effort to defend its “brand” back in the 1970’s was “pointless.” Except the USOC won and now the Gay Olympics is known as the Gay Games and life goes on.

Do you want to get into why the IOC / USOC and all the other OC’s of the world tolerate people using a term like “Redneck Olympics,” at least until it grows into a big event? Be my guest.

(Oh, but wait, the official name of that event in Georgia is now the Redneck Games. Is the USOC against rednecks? IDK.)

Speaking of points, here’s one:

Mess with the Olympic brand long enough and you just might end up with a lien on your house.

Which is fair enough, I suppose.

(And actually, the USOC lifted the lien anyway.)

Hey remember what CW Nevius had to say before the disastrous 34th America’s Cup came to town? He called it:

a wonderful opportunity without a downside.”

Except we ended up with a lot of downsides.

And now he’s cheerleading for the 2024 Olympics to come to town. And while he’s doing that, he criticizes the USOC for stuff from a third of a decade ago.

Of course, he could criticize the current USOC, but no, Nevius doesn’t want to do that.

Hey look, it’s gay rights champion Vladimir Putin chilling with CW Nevius hero Larry “The Good” Probst:

chi-20141209-001 copy


And when was this shot taken, was it a third of a century ago?

Oh no, it was this year.

Oh well.

Our Local Gannett Co Inc CorpoBlog “The Bold Italic” Asks, “SHOULD ALL WOMEN UNINSTALL UBER?” – Why This Is Funny!

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Well, first off, I don’t know where the question comes from. Is it about stuff like the hammer attack and the “inefficient route” thing from LA?


And, IMO, it’s not even a sincere question. Hey, how about this instead?

“Should women consider uninstalling Uber?”

Something like that would have a better chance of NOT being dismissed as a straw dog.

Anyway, I’ll bet you that there are some PR people at UBER who might not exactly approve of this straw dog headline.

Having said that, I know what the answer is, without even looking at the bit, because UBER is the kind of place what “partners” with our local Gannett CorpoBlog.


Capturefdfffffd copy

So that’s why it’s funny.

[UPDATE: Whoo, well, I might have skipped through a few grafs there, but I just read the bit and here you go:

“For the record, I’m not suggesting that anyone uninstall Uber.”

So, the insincere question is answered with no, women should NOT uninstall Uber. So, the longstanding “partnerings” betwixt Uber and TBI are free to continue. Whew! 

And actually the whole bit was more about the sexy Lyon, France marketing stunt gone wrong as opposed to physical assaults, so that surprised me.

But this is fucking appalling:

“There have been a few incidents lately where Uber drivers have harassed their female passengers

Uh, abductions DO NOT EQUAL “harassment,” right? Uber drivers “harass” women each and every day, right? But didn’t these allegations relate to something like kidnapping and false imprisonment? I think so. Minimize that all you want, Gannett Co Inc. Feel free. And also feel to take your Women’s Studies major and … whoops, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean. Well, keep them coming, TBI. Keep them coming until your Virginia-based overseers ship your Page Street clubhouse on down to LA, reclaimed wood and all…]

Virginia-Based Gannett Co. Inc’s Money-Losing “The Bold Italic” CorpoBlog Blows a Gasket: COVERS LA AS IF IT WERE SF

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Ah yes, The Bold Italic:

The Bold Italic shares unique stories and events in San Francisco. We’ll show you ways to get out and be a better local.”

If you want, see how well Gannett Co Inc’s effort to make money out of San Franciscans, mostly tourists and newcomers, here at the Gannett Blog.

Anyway, here’s the latest, a city-based best burger listicle – see any problems here?

Captureaaaaa copy

I’ll wait in los angeles
I’ll wait in the pouring sun
No way
For not anyone
No way

Forget About Gannett’s Money-Losing “The Bold Italic” Website, Check Out “The Sans Serif” Instead!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Here it is, The Sans Serif from “Joel Finkelstein.”

It mocks The Bold Italic, which is the local chain store website from the national Gannett Co. Inc chain. You know, the one that used to not pay minimum wage.

Anyway, it has stuff like this:


You know how everybody complains about The Bold Italic but nobody does anything about it?

Well, area resident “Joel Finkelstein” is finally doing something about it.

And for that we should cheer.

Well Look, Gannett Co Inc’s “The Bold Italic” Venture is Operating a _Paid_ Intern Program – But What About Before?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

[UPDATE: IMO, The San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner (and family) are conducting their intern programs properly. IMO, San Francisco Magazine is not. Those are the ones I’ve looked at.)

Here’s the current ad from TBI:

“Hello writers! Are you a Bold Italic fan looking to get on the other side of the screen with us? We’re looking for two social media-savvy bloggers interested in interning at The Bold Italic HQ (Hayes Valley, SF) for the fall season. The gig lasts four months (mid-August through December), and is for 3-5 days a week. And yes, we pay our interns ($15/hr). We can give you school credit if you need it.”

That appears to be fine, so it’s time to take TBI off of secret double unpaid intern probation.

But how did Gannett / the Bold Italic get on intern detention in the first place? Well, it was the offers of unpaid internships. You can see an example of one below. (It’s the sort of thing that can get a Fortune 500 chain store outlet like The Bold Italic sued, you know, for not paying at least the minimum wage.)

All right, TBI, Go Forth And Sin No More.

Ah mem’ries:

The Bold Italic is looking for an intern!

The Bold Italic is a website about local discovery in San Francisco. Our mission is to help people become better locals by equipping our members with rare intel, backstories, and potential adventures. The Bold Italic is a project of Gannett, the publishing company that owns USA Today and other media outlets.

Most recently our writers engaged in shooting guns, performing stand up comedy, working a day at a pot club, and getting hands-on lessons from a butcher – all right here in San Francisco.

We’re looking for a cracker-jack intern to help us inspire San Franciscans to interact with their city.

Duties to include:
– General office administrative duties.
– Helping to draft promotional material.
– Contributing ideas for editorial, publicity, and marketing projects.
– Assisting with events.
– Other duties assigned by the Producers and Merchant Relations staff.

Skills we are looking for:
– Strong familiarity with San Francisco.
– A people person.
– Detail oriented.
– Responsible and on time.
– Excellent communication skills; writing experience a plus.
– Social media savvy.

This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is looking to get involved with an online publication.

This is an unpaid 3-month internship, but we can offer hands-on experience and college credit.

Please only apply if you can dedicate 10-15 hours per week.

Send your resume and cover letter to

24 Hours of Gannet Co Inc’s The Bold Italic Website: “Sexy Time,” “Sex Toy,” “More Sex” – A Triumph of Form Over Content

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

This was the promise, a few years back:

“From the beginning, art elements and overall design featured prominently in strategy discussions and were kept at the forefront. Inventive and well-known global design firm IDEO was brought in early on to work with Gannett’s innovation team incorporating relevant research into the human-centered design* that was being developed for The Bold Italic.”

The cost to Gannett? Well, millions were spent on just one website / defunct magazine. How many millions? Well, as with Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu, No Man Can Say.

But let’s check the water cooler chitchat over at The Gannet Blog:

“The revenue plan was mysterious because there was no revenue. Not for the first 24 months anyway. The Bold Italic had a burn rate that rivals some of the most infamous fizz outs. They blew through $2 million a year for the first 2 years, before snagging a whopping $41k in revenue based on their skimming from entertainment ticket / event sales.”

And that brings us to July 2014, where these bits came out within hours of each other:

Sexy Time: An Oil to Get Your Lady Parts Stoned (NSFW)

Men Can Bone Their iPads with New Sex Toy

Help This Horny Gal Have More Sex with Her BF

My point is that you didn’t need to go There to get Here.

My other point is that:

1. Aging east coast media baron Gannett Co. Inc. is Charles Foster Kane; and

2. West coast corporate money-pit vanity-project The Bold Italic is its Xanadu, and perhaps, eventually, its Waterloo

Oh here it is, 34 Page Street – so sexy! You can see the glow from all that reclaimed wood upstairs:

In closing … Rosebud!


*What on Earth does that mean? I’m clueless. It’s just blah blah blah while the meter’s running at $500 per hour…

Why AVA Won’t Get Mocked the Way the NeMA Building Gets Mocked – BONUS: Why SFist is Much Better Than “The Bold Italic”

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Well here’s the come-on for the new AVA Building

“Win A Brand New Apartment in Mid-Market: This post is brought to you by AVA 55 Ninth. AVA 55 Ninth, …  “

And here’s a screenshot of SFist – man, that’s a lot of advertisin':

Click to expand

So, the reason why AVA won’t get mocked is that it’s not spending its marketing money as absurdly as it’s nearby competitor, NeMa.

(In short, NeMa, you crazy!)

Moving on.

Of course, you won’t actually be “winning” a “brand-new apartment,” but you’ll get to stay there for a year, assuming you can work out the tax implications.*

So you’re not winning an apartment per se, or a 20 year lease per se, or a life estate, per se.

But this contest  could be interesting to a San Francisco newcomer.

Moving on.

I’ll note that this ad is clearly labeled as an ad. I’ll further note the the Gannett Co Inc’s west coast blog The Bold Italic, differs  in this regard.

The Gannett blog would do different things with the money given by the property developer. Maybe form a “partnership,” something corrupt like that.

So that’s Why AVA Won’t Get Mocked the Way the NeMA Building Gets Mocked and Why SFist is Much Better Than “The Bold Italic”

*Frankly, “winning” this deal would have zero appeal to me, as it would the typical San Francisco renter.  Perhaps you could work out a deal to “take the cash” as they say in the sweeps biz. 

Oh No, Our “Local” Gannett Blog, The Bold Italic, STILL Doesn’t Know That the Fake Video It Posted is Fake

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Well here we go, some people took the effort to point out to our “local” Gannett Co Inc blog about one of its many mistakes. And it wasn’t just me, you know, right here: Gull-ible! – Gannett Co Inc’s West Coast Blog Gets Around to Posting a Two-Year Old Video – Oh, But It’s Not a Real Video.

So, Gannett, the charge is that your fake video is fake.

The rejoinder:

Was it?


I mean, it very well may have been


but we just found people speculating that it was,


and GoPro says they had nothing to do with it. (Though, they could be LYING, or seagulls themselves…)


All right, let’s play along. Do you really think a seagull can pick up a video camera with its webbed feet? If so, you’re naive.

And why do the seabirds of the world only pickup GoPro brand cameras and not Canons or Nikons or Sony Action Cams and whathaveyou?

And what French tourist takes an ordinary sunset video with a monitor-free GoPro in a waterproof case? Not that many, I’ll tell you.

And what of Nathalie Rollandin, what business was she in when she posted that video, only one, of course, the only she’s ever posted on YouTube? Let’s take a look:

Marketing strategy and product launch: concept development and product design, pricing and promotional strategies, training, launch and monitoring of results”

The French tourist turned out to be an Italian-American chick from Chicago. She’s now learning even more about viral marketing ‘n stuff at the Kellogg School. Mmmm

All right, here’s my contribution to the marketing intern fake video oeuvre.


Actually, mine’s twice as good as yours, because mine has two marketing interns faking a video.

Hey Gannett! What’s your burn rate? Why don’t you move back to Virginia and make room for housing at your reclaimed wood clubhouse on Page? How many millions have you lost so far, The Bold italic, you know, since you all came to town?