That federal lawsuit in which putative Las Vegas Sun editor and publisher Brian Greenspun attempted to block an agreement by his brother and two sisters to end the joint operating agreement (JOA) with the Las Vegas Review-Journal under which the Sun appears as a section in the morning newspaper has been largely moribund for a couple of months.
But a filing on Feb. 28 might hint at some action soon. The filing relates to a motion by Leif Reid, son of Harry Reid, to withdraw as an attorney for Greenspun.
“The parties are in the process of finalizing an agreement which would moot the instant Renewed Motion to Withdraw as Counsel. … The contemplated transaction is expected to be completed within the next thirty (30) days,” the filing states.
Now, what would “moot” the motion? Perhaps a final agreement to end the JOA?
Greenspun had futilely argued that ending the JOA would be an antitrust violation. In truth, it was the JOA that violated antitrust law as it stood until Congress gave newspapers an exemption under the Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970. The dozens of JOAs effectively created newspaper monopolies that retarded the potential for real competition from a viable entity by saving the bacon of failing newspapers under the pretext of preserving an alternative editorial voice.
Most of the JOAs created under the Newspaper Preservation Act have since been dissolved.