Stephens Media in Las Vegas newspaper lawsuit | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stephens Media in Las Vegas newspaper lawsuit

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge IN NEVADA NEWS
Stephens Media,
the newspaper chain controlled by the Little Rock-based Stephens financial empire, is now in a court fight over a deal it has put together to end a newspapwer joint operating agreement between its dominant Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Sun.

The JOA was given Justice Department antitrust approval in 1989, when Donrey owned the bigger paper, to keep competing newspaper voices alive in Las Vegas. The bigger paper has generally been immensely profitable, though not so much in recent recession and real estate-bust years.

Sun Publisher Brian Greenspun has  sued Stephens Media over a deal it has struck with three other Greenspun family members to terminate the JOA. That would end Stephens Media's obligation to print and distribute the Sun as an advertising-free supplement to its newspaper. In return, the Greenspuns would gain control of the webpage, which is currently leased to the Greenspuns and used by the local convention bureau for hotel advertising and other promotions. The JOA, currently paying the Greenspuns more than $1 million a year, otherwise wil run until 2040. From the Sun's account:

"The marketplace of ideas is as important to the United States as the marketplace of business," Leif Reid, one of Brian Greenspun's attorneys, said in a statement. "This is an effort to suppress both by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Review-Journal is attempting to eliminate the Las Vegas Sun's alternative editorial voice — not just in print, but also on the Internet. Paying to eliminate a competitor is clearly monopolistic and illegal."

The lawsuit also said:

The termination of the 2005 JOA, and impending closure of the Las Vegas Sun and its website, will have adverse effects on competition by, among other things, reducing output (both quantity and quality) of newspapers, increasing subscribers’ costs to purchase a newspaper, and reducing the opportunities available for online advertisers

It's not a JOA, but Stephens Media has something of a similar profit-sharing relationship in Northwest Arkansas with Walter Hussman's dominant Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which prints and distributes remnant Stephens newspapers in Washington and Benton County along with the D-G. Wonder if a trade is possible up there?

Here's a link to the Stephens paper's account.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansan on Obama's latest commutation list

    President Obama today announced commutations of the sentences of 111 federal prisoners, including one from Arkansas.
    • Aug 30, 2016
  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation