An arbitrator has rejected the Santa Barbara News-Press’ $25 million claim against its former editor and ordered the newspaper’s owner to pay more than $900,000 in fees stemming from their dispute.
Arbitrator Deborah Rothman said Ampersand Publishing, parent company of the News-Press, believed it “lost prestige and credibility in the Santa Barbara community” from comments former editor Jerry Roberts made, and it went after the journalist in a “scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, go-for-broke fashion.” She said the company spent about $2.4 million litigating the claim against Roberts.
Rothman decided that Ampersand should pay nearly $750,000 in legal fees Roberts incurred and about $167,000 in arbitration fees and expenses. Her 68-page decision was made available Friday; a judge will have to decide whether to confirm or vacate the judgment.
“The award is a decisive victory for ethical journalism,” Roberts said in a statement. “Ethics, not money, was always the issue for me.”
Now we just have to wait if a judge confirms the amount. Wow, even their media brawls up there are PRICEY. Yeesh.
Previously on FBLA: