COURT AFFIRMS HONOLULU INJUNCTION

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By: Lucia Moses

Ruling Extends Star-Bulletin’s Life

A federal appeals court affirmed a lower court’s preliminary injunction preventing the Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s planned shutdown.

In a Monday ruling, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said its review was limited to whether a U.S. District Court judge abused his discretion in issuing the injunction, and concluded he did not. The panel didn’t explain its reasoning.

The ruling paves the way for a district court trial to decide if the planned shutdown violates antitrust law, as the state of Hawaii alleges. A September trial date is set.

The state calls the plan a buyout designed to eliminate competition. The papers’ owners say the 117-year-old Star-Bulletin isn’t economically viable and that they have a First Amendment right to stop publishing it. The owners had support from several major U.S. newspaper companies.

Gannett said Nov. 16 it plans to petition in the next few days for a review of the decision by a full panel of 9th Circuit judges.

?We continue to believe that the original decision of the District Court was incorrect on the law and we are hopeful that an appeals court panel will look at the details and consider the case on the merits,? said Gannett Mike Fisch, president and publisher of The Honolulu Advertiser and president of the Hawaii Newspaper Agency, in a statement.

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Lucia Moses (luciam@mediainfo.com) is an associate editor for Editor & Publisher magazine.






(c) Copyright 1999, Editor & Publisher

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