The Wall Street Journal will not be able to
print liquor ads in its planned $20 million Oklahoma City plant if
bans on such advertising are affirmed by the courts, an Oklahoma
Press Association official said Tuesday.
Ben Blackstock, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Press
Association, said such a ban would also affect World Color Press Inc.
in Stillwater, which prints national magazines such as Rolling Stone.
Blackstock made public a letter he has written to Gov. George Nigh
expressing his concern. Blackstock said he has not received a reply.
Nigh's office said Blackstock's letter had been received but the
governor had not read it.
""Permit me, Governor, to call to your attention a potentially bad
situation to those of us who are interested in more jobs for
Oklahomans,'' Blackstock wrote.
Blackstock said World Color Press is ""a decided lift to the
economy'' in the Stillwater area and Dow Jones' decision to construct
a satellite printing facility for The Wall Street Journal would
beanother boost to the state economy.
A spokesman for The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday if the ban
remains in place, it should have no major impact on the plant.
"I don't think this would have an impact on whether we locate the
plant in Oklahoma City or not," said spokesman Larry Amour.
Amour said the paper's main advertising comes from office
equipment companies and financial advertising, and said liquor ads
are only a small part of the paper's revenue. There were no liquor
ads in Tuesday's Southwest edition of The Wall Street Journal and
only one in Monday's edition.
Blackstock said Lynn Barnett, assistant state attorney general,
had filed a motion last month in federal court asking District Judge
Lee West to set aside part of the liquor advertising suit against the
state, Oklahoma Press Association, Oklahoma Broadcasters Association
""Should the state prevail in enforcing this discriminatory
restriction of commercial free speech,'' Blackstock said, ""neither
of the above printing plants could ever print a publication in
Oklahoma containing liquor advertising. To do so would be a
violation of state law.''
""In all fairness to these new employers,'' Blackstock said,
""quick research should be done and these employers notified to avoid
another embarassment like the General Motors auto plant ad valoremtax
Blackstock said the issue needs to be addressed while the
Legislature is in session ""before (The Wall Street Journal)
unnecessarily spends millions of dollars in Oklahoma.''
With the addition of the proposed Dow Jones facility and the World
Color Press plant operating in Stillwater, Oklahoma is becoming
increasingly attractive as a distribution point for national