Wednesday, April 18, 2007

When Publishers Attack, Part II

Statesman vs. Idaho Business Review

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The state's largest daily paper continues its lawsuit against the Idaho Business Review.

At issue is who gets to publish legal notices, those bland but lucrative ads that appear in the back pages of both newspapers.

Today, both papers were in court before District Judge Deborah Bail.

Idaho Statesman lawyer Dave Gratton argued before the court that state law, amended in 1994, limits the publication of legal notices by both government agencies and private parties to papers of general interest, defined as the papers with the largest circulations in their respective geographic areas.

Idaho Business Review attorney Newal Squyres said state law makes no such regulation and said the Statesman’s lawsuit is founded only on greed.

“Newspapers across this country are having a hard time making as much money as they did,” Squyres said in his arguments. “It’s all about trying to find a way to make more money.”

“It has nothing to do with the public good,” he said.

Gratton responded that to the Idaho Statesman “revenue from pubic notices is miniscule.”

Judge Bail took the matter under advisement, and said she would issue a written decision soon.

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