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Publisher gets six-figure settlement over town's advertising ban

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Publisher gets six-figure settlement over town's advertising ban 06/28/99 COLORADO--The publishers of the Ten Mile Times and the town of…

Publisher gets six-figure settlement over town’s advertising ban

06/28/99

COLORADO–The publishers of the Ten Mile Times and the town of Frisco, Colo., settled a lawsuit over city advertising in early June for $210,000.

The lawsuit, filed in federal District Court in Denver, stemmed from the town’s decision to withhold all advertising, except legal notices, from publications owned by publishers of the Ten Mile Times after city officials became displeased with the coverage of the government in the weekly newspaper. City officials said the Ten Mile Times printed biased, inaccurate and unfair criticisms.

The settlement came after the federal lawsuit, brought by the Ten Mile Times publishers in 1993, had already been at trial for two days.

Publishers of the weekly newspaper, Miles Porter IV and Mary Staby, had a strong case, Ten Mile Times attorney Robert A. Van Kirk told the Freedom Forum publication free!, because “town officials were up front about their reason for canceling the ads through the comments they made at the time.”

Town Manager Elizabeth Black cited several Ten Mile Times columns and editorials that were critical of the town and policy decisions made by the government when she instituted the advertising ban against the publishers of the weekly newspaper in 1991.

In addition, Black was quoted in a Ten Mile Times articles that same year as saying, “I’m fed up with the way [Porter’s] column has treated the town. I told Miles that I can’t control his pen but I can control [advertising] dollars.” (Porter v. Frisco; Media Counsel: Robert Van Kirk, Washington, D.C., and David Helmer, Frisco, Colo.)