By Rosemary Pollock
Tribune Wins Round in Ownership Lawsuit
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The ball is now in the court of
MediaNewsGroup Inc. in the last volley of legal actions by U.S.
District Judge, Tena Campbell, who ruled in favor of the Salt Lake
Tribune. The Tribune claims that two of their managers should not
have been removed from their positions in the Newspaper Agency Corp.
which acts as the business arm of the Tribune and its joint operating
agreement (JOA) partner, The Deseret News.
The MediaNewsGroup closed the $200 million purchase of the Tribune
last month and replaced Tribune Publisher Dominic Welch and General
Manager Randy Frisch with its own appointees to the agency. The
newspaper group then rewrote a long-standing JOA between the Tribune
and its rival, The Deseret News. The Tribune protested and took
their new owner to court.
"It gives us the ability to return to running the Newspaper Agency
Corp. and the Tribune as we did for the last 3 1/2 years," Frisch
said. "and it gives us the ability to protect the Tribune assets,
the Tribune employees and the NAC employees as we have done." The
NAC controls the shared printing, advertising, distribution and other
day-to-day operations of the papers.
The NAC and it's management have had a long standing point of
contention with the Tribune, who has a 135,000 circulation and the
afternoon News. Welch and Frisch have blocked moving the publication
to the morning. Dean Singleton, CEO of MediaNews has agreed to make
the change along with The Deseret News who has a 65,000 circulation.
The switch is expected to take place this fall.
MediaNewsGroup Inc. has said it will appeal parts of the ruling to
the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. "It is chock full of
reversible error," Singleton said.
Judge rules MediaNews must back off rewritten JOA
MSNBC (AP) 26Feb01 B4
Judge Rules Removals a Mistake in Salt Lake
Editor &Publisher 22Feb01 B4
By Lucia Moses
Says Trib Managers Should Have Retained Agency Roles
Tribune Managers Win Injunction
Salt Lake Tribune 22Feb01 B4
By Kristen Moulton: Salt Lake Tribune