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BRIEFS.

*Investor flees Catalyst: The West Coast's leading newsprint maker, Catalyst Paper Corp. of suburban Vancouver, British Columbia, said on Tuesday that Third Avenue Management LLC is selling off its 27-1/2-percent stake in the company, which probably garnered around $2.1 million (U.S. and Canadian dollars are trading about one-to-one right now). Catalyst also said on Tuesday that Benjamin Duster has resigned as chair of the board of directors, though he will remain a director, and that Jeffrey Marshall has been elected chair. In 2006-2007, Third Avenue -- a U.S. "value fund" investment firm -- doubled its stake in Catalyst to almost 40 percent of the company's shares and an investment of about $C129 million ($US114 million). Duster, an Illinois lawyer, represented Third Avenue's interests on the board, while Marshall is the chairman of aluminum maker Ornet Corp. of Ohio. Catalyst has been in a Canadian form of pre-bankruptcy, called CCAA, and its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange will be delisted on March 8.

*Lee almost back in NYSE good graces: Publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. said earlier this month that it had received a letter from the New York Stock Exchange confirming that the Davenport, Iowa-based company was once again in compliance with exchange rules requiring a closing price of at least $1 per share for 30 consecutive trading days. In late August, Lee's share price dipped under $1 and the exchange allowed it six months to fix the problem. Lee filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in December, exiting in January, which pushed its share price back up over $1. Lee still has an NYSE problem because it needs $50 million in market capitalization; on Friday it's market cap was pegged at just under $45-1/2 million. Lee has proposed to shareholders that the company to a reverse stock split which could increase share value to as much as $5 per share; shares closed on Friday at $1.10, down 2.7 percent for the week.

*Washington buyouts -- 3-1/4 weeks per year: While the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild/CWA didn't get everything it desired in the Washington Post buyouts that are to come next month, the union says it got a lot, including a severance payment of 3-1/4 weeks of pay for every year of service (the company had initially offered 2-1/2 weeks, while the union initially sought five weeks), as well as a maximum of 12 months of health insurance for all who take the buyout. Early reports indicate about 200 people in the 600-person Post newsroom are eligible for the buyout at the Post, though the company hasn't said how many it will accept. The Guild said in a posting on its web site that employees will have 45 days to decide whether to accept the buyout after they pick up their offers, which will be first available on Wednesday.

*'Hope' poster artist pleads guilty: Despite settling his grievance with The Associated Press last year about the 2008 Barack Obama "Hope" poster, artist Shepard Fairey pleaded guilty on Friday to charges he destroyed documents, manufactured evidence and coached a witness to lie during his 2010 civil litigation with the news service. Fairey sued The A.P. after the wire service contended he used one of its copyrighted images as the basis for the poster, but the two sides settled in January 2011 for undisclosed financial arrangements, a promise by Fairey never to use A.P. photos again without permission and an agreement to cooperate on future artworks. But Fairey's misconduct was discovered and he was charged in Federal Court. The web site TheWrap.com reported that Fairey could face up to six months in prison and one year of supervised release, plus a $5000. He will be sentenced in July, the site said.

*NYT launches Chinese science magazine: A monthly Chinese-language magazine made up of translated stories from the weekly "Science Times" sections of the New York Times has been launched in China, the paper said last week. The glossy magazine, Science Times China, is co-published by the Chinese firm Shanghai Zhenwen Advertising Co., Ltd., and also contains some local content as well as articles, illustrations and photographs from the paper's weekly section. "We welcome a new group of like-minded readers to our loyal audience who are curious about seeing the world through the lens of science and technology," said Michael Greenspon, general manager of The New York Times News Services Division. The magazine was launched with an initial circulation of 20,000 and will be distributed in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong as well as other populous cities in the People's Republic of China and will also be available by subscription; it costs $5.

*WSJ adds more Sunday partners: Advance Newspapers' Michigan titles and the San Francisco Examiner have added the Wall Street Journal's syndicated personal finance content to their Sunday papers, the Journal said last week. Advance had already been using the Journal content at three titles and have extended the arrangement to all eight, including AnnArbor.com, the Grand Rapids Press, the Jackson Citizen Patriot, the Kalamazoo Gazette and the Muskegon Sunday Chronicle, totalling 447,000 subscribers. Black Press' Examiner distributes 255,200 copies free every Sunday. The Journal says its syndicated Sunday package is distributed in 66 U.S. papers that represent 7.3 million copies.
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Publication:NewsInc
Date:Feb 27, 2012
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