U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan Friday dismissed a request by Las Vegas Sun Editor and Publisher Brian Greenspun to block a plan to end the Sun’s joint operating agreement with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Howard Stutz reports. The decision left “the issue to be decided another day,” the Sun’s Ed Komenda writes.
The agreement, renegotiated in 2005, calls for the Sun to be distributed as a supplement within the Review-Journal. Stephens Media, which owns the Review-Journal, and Greenspun’s siblings “are now expected to move forward with finalizing the contract,” which could mean the end of the Sun.
Donald Campbell, a counsel for Stephens Media, told New York Times reporter Timothy Pratt “the offer did not include a noncompete clause, so the Greenspuns, or anyone else, would face no legal obstacle in continuing to print The Sun.” Brian Greenspun “contends that the costs to do so would be prohibitive,” Pratt writes.
Brian Greenspun’s attorneys “said they would appeal Mahan’s ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,” Stutz reports. Greenspun contends the deal between Stephens and his siblings violates antitrust laws.
“Stephens Media has contended that Brian Greenspun’s antitrust lawsuit to maintain the JOA lacks merit because there are print and online substitute newspapers in the Las Vegas market,” Komenda wrote in a piece published Thursday. “But Greenspun lawyers Joseph Alioto and Leif Reid maintain that none of the offerings can replace the Sun’s scope and ability to deliver news.”
Below, some tweets about the hearing: