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UPI Seeks Arbitration of Photo Dispute With Reuters

March 12, 1990 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Reuters filed court papers March 9 opposing United Press International’s request for a preliminary injunction barring Reuters from backing out of a picture exchange agreement.

UPI claims Reuters has deprived it of photo revenue for the past five years and is seeking damages of more than $600,000.

Under an arrangement that began in 1985 and which was supposed to run for 10 years, UPI provided Reuters with pictures from the United States while Reuters supplied pictures from other countries.

Reuters, which claims UPI’s photo report has declined since the exchange began, has filed suit in federal court seeking to void the contract between the two news services.

In the memorandum of March 9, made in response to a counterclaim made by UPI, Reuters denied allegations that it ″poached″ certain UPI clients, taken away employees and was trying to drive UPI out of business.

″It is a collection of inflammatory statements based on no authority whatever or on serious distortions of the documents at issue,″ Reuters said.

UPI has filed a request for arbitration in the case, saying Reuters is obligated under agreements between the two companies to reimburse UPI for any revenue lost as a result of subscribers shifting to Reuters’ photo service.

Reuters spokesman Robert Crooke said there is no evidence UPI lost money because of his company’s marketing activities.

″We welcome the opportunity that the arbitration provides to establish not only that Reuter activities are not the cause of UPI’s losses but that those causes lie much closer to UPI’s own actions,″ Crooke said.

U.S. District Judge Peter K. Leisure earlier issued a temporary restraining order against Reuters, which remains in effect until he decides whether to issue the injunction.

Reuters said Feb. 16 it was canceling the agreement and halted its flow of pictures to UPI for more than four hours.

Reuters has alleged that UPI’s photo service has declined since the exchange began. Pittsburgh Magazine Suit Settled

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A libel suit filed by two suburban police officers who claimed they were defamed by an article published in Pittsburgh Magazine was settled March 5.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Baldwin Borough officers agreed to drop their lawsuit for between $50,000 and $75,000. The suit was scheduled to go to trial the same day.

Officers Warren R. Cooley and Donald Misencik said in their suit they were damaged by a May 1988 article about the unsolved disappearance of Michael Rosenblum of Pittsburgh in 1980.

The lawsuit claimed that portions of the article falsely suggested the officers were somehow responsible for Rosenblum’s disappearance. The suit also said writer James T. Harger made defamatory comments about the two officers during an interview with a radio station and to two Allegheny County detectives.

Another suit against the magazine, its editor and Harger is pending. That suit, also related to the Rosenblum article, was filed by Aldo Gaburri, the former police chief in Baldwin. Auto Industry Publication Group Up for Sale

DETROIT (AP) - Thomson Corp. wants to sell its Ward’s Communications Inc., a group of automotive-related magazines and newsletters.

Ward’s employees were notified of the move March 5. Gerald D. Tenser, vice president of the Thomson subsidiary Thomson Information-Publishing Group in Stamford, Conn., said the organization hoped to make the sale within three months.

Tenser declined to say how much the company was seeking or whether it had offers. He said Thomson has instituted a policy which has resulted in the divestment of several trade magazines.

Ward’s, whose publications are highly respected in the automotive industry, began in 1924 by publishing statistics on the industry. Thomson, a publishing conglomerate based in Toronto, acquired Ward’s in 1981.

Publications include two monthly magazines - Ward’s Auto World and Ward’s Auto Dealer - and newsletters including Ward’s Automotive Reports and Ward’s Engine Update. Times Mirror Subsidiary Buys Five Weeklies

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - Southern Connecticut Newspapers Inc., publisher of The Advocate and Greenwich Time, has bought five weekly newspapers in southwestern Connecticut and southern New York.

Terms of the agreement to buy Acorn Press Inc., which publishes The Ridgefield Press, The Wilton Bulletin, The Redding Pilot, The Bethel Home News in Connecticut and The Ledger of Lewisboro, N.Y., were not disclosed.

Acorn, based in Ridgefield, has been owned and operated since 1937 by the Nash family, headed by Karl S. Nash, president and principal stockholder.

The acquisition is the first for SCN, a subsidiary of Times Mirror Co. of Los Angeles.

The Advocate has a circulation of 30,912 daily and 38,724 on Sundays; Greenwich Time has a circulation of 13,276 daily and 13,295 on Sundays.

The five weeklies have a combined circulation of about 21,800. Authors, Editors Accuse Random House

NEW YORK (AP) - Brandishing signs and chanting slogans, about 350 authors, editors, literary agents and sympathizers staged a noisy sidewalk protest March 5 to accuse Random House of destroying one of its key subsidiaries for financial reasons.

″The bottom line is not the last word,″ read one sign displayed outside the publishing giant’s midtown headquarters.

The protesters said that Samuel I. Newhouse, owner of Random House, had ″effectively killed″ the subsidiary, Pantheon Books, by forcing the resignation of its longtime editorial director, Andre Schiffrin, on Feb. 28. Schiffrin reportedly had refused to cut his staff and the number of books he planned to publish.

Five of Pantheon’s six senior editors subsequently quit, saying Pantheon’s established role as a publishing house for unconventional and otherwise little-known writers was being ruined in the name of corporate profits.

Random House chairman Alberto Vitale said he was ″absolutely puzzled″ by the reaction to Schiffrin’s resignation. He said Pantheon would have ″ceased to operate a long, long time ago″ without Random House’s support. Teen-age Comic Book Buff Produces Newsletter

MARS, Pa. (AP) - A high school honors student with a love of comic books has begun his own newsletter for other buffs.

″Comics are an art form ... a literary form, too, in addition to being good entertainment,″ said Glen Lubbert, 18, publisher of The Comic Chronicle.

Lubbert, who buys about 30 comic books a month and has nearly 3,000 in his collection, produces the 16-page newsletter every six weeks with the help of two other teen-agers. He sells about 150 issues at 50 cents each through mail subscriptions and newsstands.

A typical issue includes interviews with cartoonists, usually done by Lubbert at the many conventions he attends, artwork and columns on comic book markets.