By Rosemary Pollock
MediaNews Opposes Adding Deseret News to Tribune Lawsuit
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Company's lawsuit
against Tribune owner MediaNews Group, filed December 1 in federal court will
soon go before U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell. But MediaNews Group
Inc. is now opposing the attempt by the Salt Lake Tribune to add Deseret
News Publishing Co. as a defendant in the suit, fearing an attempt to shift
the lawsuit to another court. If the News becomes a defendant it would mean
that the two parties are Utah companies and MediaNews fears that could give
the state courts jurisdiction.
The Tribune managers want Judge Campbell's permission to file an amended
complaint accusing the News of interfering with their contracts to manage
The Tribune and buy it in 2002, along with their economic relations with
advertisers, readers and employees in the Salt Lake City community.
The claim is that News and MediaNews made amendments to the joint operating
agreement (JOA) between the two papers and changes with the company they
jointly own, Newspaper Agency Corp., that violate the Tribune manager's
management and option-to-purchase agreements.
A memorandum filed Sunday afternoon said, "MNG has spent countless hours and
hundreds of thousands of dollars defending itself against SLTPC's charges."
"Most of this work would be wasted if SLTPC were permitted to add DNPC as a
party." Tribune managers arue that by adding the News as a defendant it
would not affect the court's jurisdiction. MediaNews is not buying that
theory and also claims that News is not a party to the lawsuit.
In an affidavit attached to the memorandum, News Publisher Jim Wall said the
News will not interfere if the judge ultimately requires rescission of the
changes to JOA, something sought by Tribune managers in an injunction
request now before the judge.
Tribune Owner Wants Deseret News Kept Out of Lawsuit
Salt Lake Tribune 23Jan01 B4
By Kristen Moulton: Salt Lake Tribune