Judge Tosses Lawsuit over Tribune Appraisal, Again

Judge Tosses Lawsuit over Tribune Appraisal, Again

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A New Jersey judge for the second time in a month has rejected a lawsuit by former owners of The Salt Lake Tribune who claim efforts to regain control of the newspaper are being blocked by an inflated appraisal.

Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Co. claimed a preliminary appraisal by New Jersey-based Management Planning Inc. was flawed and would force Tribune Publishing to pay too much if it is allowed to buy the newspaper back from Denver-based MediaNews Group, which has controlled The Tribune since August 2002.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Neil Shuster dismissed the lawsuit in April, saying the former owners should wait for the final appraisal. On Friday, Shuster said again that because the $325 million appraisal is only a draft estimate of The Tribune's worth, it could not harm Tribune Publishing.

MPI has released no date for completing the final appraisal.

Shuster also said that when a final appraisal is released, any legal action against it should be filed in a Utah state court, where the ownership of The Tribune has been disputed since 2000.

Tribune Publishing Friday filed a notice of its intention to appeal Shuster's dismissal.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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