Tuesday, January 15, 2008

WAR!! Houston Community Newspapers take Instant News Network to the courthouse ; Chronicle smirks smugly

With only one daily newspaper in Houston for the past 12 years, the notion of a good old-fashioned Front Page-style "newspaper war" is ludicrous, so we'll have to settle for Houston Community Newspapers suing the upstart Instant News Network over a "non compete" legal issue.... Zzzzzzzz....

We as much predicted this last week if you weren't paying attention (and we can't blame you if you weren't.)

Anyway, here's the poop, as reported by the West University Examiner today...

Houston Community Newspapers filed a lawsuit Monday seeking damages and a temporary restraining order against the former owner of a newspaper group that he sold to HCN in 2006.

At a Monday hearing, a Harris County District Court Judge granted parts of a requested temporary restraining order and denied other parts. As a result of the judge's order, an additional hearing is scheduled to be held Friday, Jan. 25.

The lawsuit, filed against George Boehme, InstantNewsNetwork.com Inc. and FORTBENDNOW INC., claims Boehme has violated non-competition and non-solicitation provisions of a purchase agreement he signed with Houston Community Newspapers.

In April 2006, Boehme sold the Examiner Newspaper Group and its assets to Houston Community Newspapers. Boehme remained as a senior-level manager of Houston Community Newspapers for approximately a year after the sale was completed.

The Houston Chronicle, so far as we can tell, has not deigned to report this, preferring not to acknowledge there are "competing" information sources in the nation's fourth largest city, small as they may be.

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