Santa Barbara

Wendy McCaw gets SLAPPed

Santa Barbara's looniest newspaper owner — ruiner of the once-respectable News-Press — lost in her lawsuit against journalist Susan Paterno, who had reported on the Santa Barbara saga for the American Journalism Review. McCaw sued in a transparent bid to punish Paterno, the writer moved to dismiss under California's "strategic lawsuit against public participation" law, and last week the motion was granted. According to Paterno's lawyer, via Craig Smith's Blog, it's all over but the haggle over legal fees. So let's recap: Wendy lost this effort to intimidate a magazine, she was found guilty of brazen labor violations, it looks like she'll lose her arbitration ploy against former News-Press editor in chief Jerry Roberts, she's still the laughingstock of much of Santa Barbara, and her paper has got to be worth a lot less than when she declared war on her own news staff. Not a smart business mind at work up there, it would seem.

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