Wash. Times sues defunct Tribune

April 30, 1995|By a Sun Staff Writer

The Washington Times has filed suit against the now-defunct Columbia Daily Tribune for unpaid printing bills it says totals $57,572.

Filed in Howard Circuit Court April 20, the suit also names as a defendant Columbia management consultant John K. Keller. He helped start the newspaper, which operated three months and ceased publication in January.

The newspaper's founder, Edward G. Pickett, was not named in the suit, which contends that the paper failed to pay its printing bills and bounced checks worth hundreds of dollars from Oct. 10 to Jan. 31.

Mr. Keller said he wasn't responsible for the former paper's financial problems.

"You can name anyone in a lawsuit," said Mr. Keller, who later added: "In a sense they should have served papers on Ed Pickett."

Mr. Pickett could not be reached for comment.

The paper was beset by problems almost from its inception. Unable to attract lucrative advertisers from its larger competitors, The Sun and the Washington Post, the Tribune struggled to stay afloat. Mr. Keller said 35,000 issues were printed during the weekend and about 7,000 during the week.

Staff members also complained of bounced checks or checks never received, ranging from $500 to $2,000. And because of unpaid bills, the paper was forced to switch printing companies at least three times before it ceased operation.

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