Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Latest Showdown in Salt Lake City

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Latest Showdown in Salt Lake City

Article excerpt

Dueling over values of the 'Trib'

The former owners of The Salt Lake Tribune have asked a federal judge to break the logjam in determining its value, claiming William Dean Singleton, MediaNews Group Inc.'s vice chairman and CEO, is "manipulating" the appraisal process to keep them from exercising their disputed option to buy back the paper.

Randy Frisch, chief operating officer of the McCarthey family's Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Co. (SLTPC), said Singleton was "mickeying" the process by arranging a wildly high valuation of the paper MediaNews bought for $200 million two years ago and by trying to install his own tie-breaking third appraiser. SLTPC said it "had caught Dean Singleton ... cheating" by contacting Robert J. Broadwater, managing director of the New York media merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS). Frisch said Broadwater had told him that Singleton offered a $500,000 fee if VSS were the third appraiser.

However, in a Sept. 9 letter to Frisch included as an exhibit in SLTPC's court filing, Broadwater denied Singleton asked VSS to be the third appraiser or promised a fee. "At no time ... was the subject of fees ... raised by Mr. Singleton or us," Broadwater wrote. …

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