Tucson Citizen Lawsuit Filed by State Gets Dismissed; AG's Office Says Suit Unlikely to Force Change

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard filed a motion Tuesday afternoon to have his lawsuit against the owners of the Tucson Citizen dismissed because it wouldn't accomplish anything.

Goddard had already failed last week to convince a judge that he should force the owners, Gannett and Lee Enterprises, to keep publishing the 138-year-old newspaper. His lawsuit accused the companies of trying to eliminate competition and create a monopoly in violation of their federally approved joint-operating agreement.

In a prepared statement, Goddard's spokeswoman, Anne Hilby, said:

At this point, it was highly unlikely that any outcome of the litigation could lead to the reopening of the Tucson Citizen, elimination of anti-competitive activity or a reestablishment of competitive voices in the Tucson newspaper market.

The paper continues to live on in cyberspace -- without any reporters. Gannett and Lee will continue to split profits 50-50 from the Web site and the other newspaper in the JOA, the Arizona Daily Star.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.