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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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April 10, 2008 4:12 PM

Daytona for sale

Posted by Ryan Blethen

The Daytona Beach News-Journal has been put up for sale. The Davidson family owns a majority the independent newspaper and was forced into a sale through the courts.

Cox Newspapers, which owns papers such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Austin American-Statesman, took the Davidson's to court in 2004 because of the News-Journal buying the naming rights to a performing arts center for $13 million. Things got complicated in court, as things often do in court, and the Davidson's appear to have been backed into a corner.

Here is the statement posted on the News-Journal's Web site:

The legal battle between The News-Journal and Cox Newspapers over the future of the Daytona Beach newspaper may be drawing to a close. This e-mail was sent to News-Journal employees this morning:

Dear News-Journal Corporation family and friends,

In light of the appellate court's denial of News-Journal Corporation's last request for rehearing, the options available to the company have narrowed to the point that it is now clear that the company will be sold as a going business. All other options are foreclosed by the result of the litigation and the terribly unfavorable conditions in the credit market and the capital market. We do not yet know the form this sale will take or the timing, but we know that it will be sold as a going and continuing business.

All of us are anxious to know what will happen to us personally after this transition period. We want to assure you that we care about your personal well-being and will help you to the best of our ability with any issues concerning your employment. Change here is inevitable, but whatever happens this business will continue operating as a going concern. It will not close or stop doing business.

You have read that "dissolution" of the corporation is one possibility. This would not be the same as a piecemeal sale of assets but rather a sale of the whole business. Whatever transpires, your pension, 401(k) funds and other funds outside the company are protected by contract and by Federal regulation.

Throughout this litigation, you have done a great job of staying focused on producing high quality publications. Thank you very much. It continues to be in all of our best interests to continue working positively during these difficult times.


Marc L. Davidson
Georgia M. Kaney
David R. Kendall
Julia Davidson Truilo
Robert Truilo

A special report on the legal battle can be found here on the News-Journal's Web site.

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