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Attorney May Want To Buy Columbus Citizen-Journal

February 25, 1985

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ The morning Columbus Citizen-Journal is being put up for sale by the E.W. Scripps Co., according to an attorney who says he has talked with Scripps executives about a possible deal.

Thomas Neal Tripp said today he has talked with Scripps President Edward Estlow, who confirmed to him that the newspaper is up for sale. Estlow could not be reached today for comment. A secretary at Scripps’ headquarters in Cincinnati said he was out of the office.

Tripp said the possible sale depends on whether investors can be convinced of the paper’s profitability.

He would not disclose a price.

″Our negotiations are far enough along that there is little question left as to what it would cost,″ Tripp said. ″The major question now is: Can we make money in order to keep the paper in existence?″

He also declined to say how many investors may be interested in the newspaper.

Since December 1959, the Citizen-Journal has been published under a joint operating agreement with The Dispatch Printing Co., in which the latter handles production, advertising and distribution of the morning paper. The Dispatch Printing Co. also publishes The Columbus Dispatch.

The Dispatch has said it will not renew the joint operating agreement, which expires Dec. 31.

Tripp said that if the deal proceeds, ″we will basically buy the name, the editorial staff, good will, the circulation list, and we will buy any business records. That would be very important information to us.″

The Citizen-Journal, printed daily except Sunday, has a net paid circulation of 121,454. The Dispatch circulation for its six-day afternoon edition is 201,423, and for its Sunday edition, 359,695.

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