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Tribune Sale of Two Papers to Gannett Is Cancelled

Media conglomerate Tribune Co. said the sale of a pair of Connecticut newspapers to Gannett has been called off because of an arbitrator's ruling that would have required Gannett to honor an existing labor agreement.

Tribune said in March that it would sell the Advocate of Stamford and Greenwich Time newspapers, with a combined circulation of 39,000, to Gannett for $73 million.

An arbitrator found in April that the sale violated a union contract because its terms did not require Gannett to honor the collective bargaining agreement between Tribune and the union's 36 reporters and photographers.

The arbitrator ordered Tribune to refrain from executing any purchase agreement that excluded the collective bargaining agreement.

Tribune originally acquired the pair in June 2000 with its purchase of Times Mirror Co.

The company said Friday it would immediately begin soliciting offers for the newspapers in hopes of completing a sale as soon as possible.

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