The masthead of the Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review-Journal are seen on the Aug. 20, 2013, editions. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
There is a battle brewing between the two newspapers that serve southern Nevada, and one of them could disappear.
Brian Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, is suing the owners of the Review-Journal, Stephens Media, to prevent what he calls a monopoly.
This battle made the front pages in Wednesday editions of both papers.
If Stephens Media is successful at dissolving a joint operating agreement, the two papers have been using since 1989, Sun attorney Leif Reid says the Sun would shut down.
"It would die, that's why we filed suit to prevent that from happening," said Reid of the Nevada law firm Lewis and Roca.
The RJ both prints and handles the Sun's advertising as part of the joint operating agreement, which was set to expire in 2040, but in a 3-1 vote Greenspun Media directors were in favor of dissolving it.
The only one opposed was Brian Greenspun.
"The intent is to create a monopoly and to destroy the competing paper, and federal law prohibits that," said Reid.
A statement to FOX5 from Stevens Media CEO Mike Ferguson:
"We are disappointed that Brian Greenspun filed this lawsuit. To say that we are attempting to monopolize anything is utterly ridiculous considering the plethora of news and advertising sources available to Las Vegas residents and the realities of the modern media marketplace. We will vigorously contest the unfounded allegations in this action and are confident that the courts will agree. We intend to seek reimbursement of our attorneys' fees for this meritless action."
Local residents have differing opinions on possibly turning the Valley into a one-paper town.
"We get our news over the radio, off the TV, we get it off the computer. It wouldn't bother me if the paper was to go," said John Ferrington."
"Not OK, because then there's no choice, which there always should be choice for anything," said Shelly Canterbury.
Reid believes both the Sun's print and online operations would end, costing 200 jobs.
"If there's no Sun and if there's no Sun website, there would be nothing to do and their jobs would be gone," said Reid.
Brian Greenspun's two sisters and brother voted to end the joint operating agreement.
All would receive payments as part of the settlement.
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