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*Media General continues debt talks: Newspaper and broadcasting company Media General Inc. of Richmond, Va., delayed filing its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, instead issuing an interim two-sentence report saying that it "continues to negotiate with its lenders to reset certain covenants under its credit agreement." The company has $363 million in bank debt due a year from now and has been attempting to get it refinanced. Lenders approved a waiver of certain rules of the loans last month and while earlier this month Standard & Poors Ratings Services upgraded its rating on these loans, it remained pessimistic about the company overall. Media General said on Feb. 22 it was considering the sale of its newspaper group, which includes three metro titles -- the flagship Richmond Times-Dispatch, Florida's Tampa Tribune and the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina -- as well as more than 40 community titles. Company shares closed at $5.18 on Friday, down 19.9 percent for the week.

*Copyright 'fair use' better defined: A federal district court judge in Nevada earlier this month ruled that a posting on a web site's forum of a couple of sentences from a newspaper article and a link to the full article represent fair use and not an infringement of copyright. The ruling came in a suit filed by Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas, Nev., on behalf of that city's Review-Journal against the site Righthaven, launched by a Las Vegas lawyer and Stephens Media LLC (owner of The Review-Journal) filed hundreds of suits attempting to gain compensation for the use of newspaper stories on unaffiliated web sites. While many defendants settled out of court, a significant number went to trial and more than seven of the cases have been thrown out of court. Righthaven is being sued for nuisance lawsuits and a receiver has been appointed to auction off its assets to pay off its debts.

*Indiana paper to move downtown: Home News Enterprises' Daily Journal of Franklin, Ind., said late last month that it has reached a tentative deal to sell its building about three miles from the city center and will move downtown. The buyer of the building is KYB Americas Corp., the U.S. unit of the Japanese auto-parts manufacturer. The Daily Journal said KYB is expecting to spend $6.4 million both to purchase the building and refurbish it for its purposes. The Daily Journal is printed at Home News' printing facility in Columbus, Ind., where the company says it "recently spent more than a half-million dollars on new press equipment." The paper is expecting to lease part of the historic 14,000-square-foot Hazelett Building downtown. Home News in January purchased the nearby Seymour Tribune from Freedom Communications Inc. for undisclosed terms and also publishes four other daily titles, including The Republic in Columbus and the Daily Reporter in Greenfield.

*NewsRight signs first client: Digital rights clearinghouse NewsRight LLC said on Wednesday that it had signed its first client, Moreover Technologies Inc. of Reston, Va. NewsRight, spun off from a licensing group originally started by The Associated Press last year, said the deal gives Moreover and its clients "the assurance of a reliable flow of quality, rights-cleared news content and unique insight into its consumption," said David Westin, NewsRight's chief executive. Additionally, said Westin, the creators of the content will now receive a licensing revenue stream from Moreover. Both sides emphasized that the agreement also gives Moreover and its clients analysis of how news stories are being used by newspapers, broadcasters and web sites. NewsRight is owned by a consortium of publishers, including Advance Publications Inc., The Hearst Corp., The McClatchy Co., MediaNews Group Inc., The New York Times Co. and The Washington Post Co.

*NNA launches web site with video: A video made by a third-generation newspaperman about the business is helping to launch the new web site of the National Newspaper Association, the group said last week. features quick links to the site's most popular features, including its "Community Newspaper Readership Survey." The video, "We Believe in Newspapers," directed and produced by Alex Parker-Magyar, a student at Syracuse University, features conversations with NNA members during the group's 2011 events where they explain their devotion to the medium. The new site was co-developed by News-Register Publishing Co. and of McMinnville, Ore. "We look forward to using our new to continue to strengthen our industry, the community newspaper brand and our firm belief in newspapers," said Reed Anfinson, publisher of Minnesota's Swift County Monitor-News and the NNA's president.
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Date:Mar 19, 2012
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