‘Death tax’ claims

By: Mark Fitzgerald

two more victims
As the U.S. Congress debates repealing the estate tax, Michael Gartner and Gary Gerlach are being forced to sell The Tribune and their chain of community papers in Iowa as a direct result of the levy opponents call “the death tax.”
“It will be a miracle if we don’t have to sell [The Tribune],” says Gerlach, publisher of the 10,000-circulation paper in the college town of Ames.
The reason is the death in January of David W. Belin, the Des Moines lawyer who was a one-third partner with Gartner and Gerlach in Partnership Press.
“His death was very unexpected,” Gerlach says. “It wasn’t part of our plans obviously. He was a one-third partner, and under the law the estate tax comes due in October.”
Partnership Press has been winding down its business for several months. In the spring, it sold its Maverick Media community papers in Missouri to Liberty Publishing, and more recently it shed its group of shoppers in western Illinois.
“We are systematically reviewing all our properties,” Gerlach says.
Gartner, a Pulitzer Prize winner who gained prominence as Page-One editor of The Wall Street Journal, editor of The Des Moines Register, and president of nbc News, tells The New York Times he intends to work full-time at the Iowa Cubs, the triple-A Chicago Cubs farm team he, Gerlach, and an attorney bought earlier this year.
(Editor & Publisher WebSite:http:www.mediainfo.com) [Caption]
(copyright: Editor & Publisher September 11, 1999) [Caption]

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