Goddard files lawsuit to preserve The Tucson Citizen

Chris Rizo May 16, 2009, 4:28pm

Terry Goddard (D)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline)-If Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has his way, The Tucson Citizen will not become an online-only publication.

The Democratic attorney general filed a lawsuit late Friday in federal court to prevent Gannett Corp. from stopping print editions this week.

Goddard said the company's planned move would silence the editorial voice in the community. The planned Internet version of the paper is only set to have opinion and no news or sports coverage.

The 138-year-old paper had a circulation of about 17,000.

Goddard said Gannett rejected offers to buy the afternoon newspaper to keep it operating in competition with the morning Arizona Daily Star, owned by Lee Enterprises Inc.

Gannett and Lee Enterprises which share profits from the Citizen and Arizona Daily Star under a federally authorized joint operating agreement.

Gannett and Lee, he said, conspired so the newspaper would cease printing so that the Star would have no real competition.

For its part, Lee Enterprises has denied the attorney general's claims.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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