The NewsGuild-CWA has urged the Justice Department’s antitrust division to probe the purchase by Block Communications of the Pittsburgh City Paper earlier this month. .
The union argues that the acquisition is part of a “continued quest to consolidate the Pittsburgh news market.” Block already owned the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Jon Schleuss, president of the union, wrote in a Wednesday letter, “The NewsGuild-CWA urges the Department of Justice to investigate the competitive impact of this attempted consolidation of local news.”
This is occurring as 110 Post-Gazette workers continue a strike that has been going on for three months over health care premiums and other issues. Block Communications refuses to bargain, they allege.
The Pittsburgh City Paper acquisition was made by Cars Holding Inc., a subsidiary of Block Communications.
The company said existing employees would be retained and that the weekly would operate autonomously when it announced the acquisition.
Schleuss alleges that Block has bought and closed competitive newspapers, Bloomberg Law reports.
In addition, Schleuss stated that the City Paper covered stores ignored by the Post-Gazette.
How many cities of Pittsburgh's size have more than one 'daily' (as it does with the Tribune-Review)?