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State Supreme Court Overturns Sales Tax on Magazine Subscriptions

March 12, 1990

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state Department of Revenue cannot collect sales taxes on magazine subscriptions sold in Tennessee, the state Supreme Court ruled March 5.

The unanimous decision held that magazines cannot be singled out for taxation while newspapers are not.

The ruling means the state Department of Revenue will have to refund sales taxes paid by Newsweek magazine, whose lawsuit challenged the taxation, and other magazines sold in the state, Revenue Commissioner Joe Huddleston said.

″We have not previously taxed newspapers, and the thrust of the decision is to tell us that we cannot tax magazines and exempt newspapers,″ Huddleston said.

He estimated the state would refund $5 million in sales taxes paid by magazines.

Newsweek challenged the sales tax and penalties it had paid on subscription sales in Tennessee between Jan. 1, 1982, and Dec. 31, 1984. The magazine charged that taxation violated constitutional guarantees of free speech and due process. New Daily Appears on Schedule But Needs Name

MILLVILLE, N.J. (AP) - A new afternoon newspaper hit Millville’s streets as planned March 5, but it came out needing a name.

Bridgeton Evening News Co., which publishes the Bridgeton Evening News, is calling the new paper simply the Millville for now. It asked readers to help find a permanent name.

The newspaper was to have been called The Millville Daily, but that plan was changed after a threatened lawsuit by Gannett Co. Inc., which publishes the rival Daily Journal in nearby Vineland.

Gannett published a newspaper known as The Millville Daily until May 1988, when it merged the Daily with The Vineland Times-Journal to form The Daily Journal. Gannett said it still owns the name The Millville Daily.

″We don’t think they are right. But they could be,″ John M. Ewing, publisher of the Bridgeton Evening News and the new paper, said in a page-one story.

The Millville and Bridgeton papers are owned by Hollinger Inc. of Toronto. BROADCAST NEWS Directors Guild Agrees on New Pact With NBC and ABC

NEW YORK (AP) - The Directors Guild of America has reached tentative agreement with ABC and NBC on a three-year contract covering about 275 Guild members at the networks, say union and network officials.

The new contract, to succeed one that expires June 30, still must be approved by the Guild’s national board, and then submitted to Guild membership for ratification.

In addition to staff members and free-lance employees at ABC and NBC, the agreement covers Guild members at facilities the networks own here and in Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The proposed pact would boost salaries by 5 percent this July, with another 5 percent increase beginning Jan. 1, 1992, according to a statement issued March 9 by the Guild and the two networks.

The Guild still is negotiating a new contract with CBS, said Chuck Warn, a Guild spokesman in Los Angeles. NFL Boosts TV Deals to More Than $3.6 Billion Over Four Years

NEW YORK (AP) - The National Football League wrapped up its new television package March 9 by agreeing to a deal with NBC that boosts its total TV revenue to more than $3.6 billion over four years, an all-sports record.

The new agreement, for $752 million over four years, concludes two months of negotiations that will increase the amount of TV revenues each team now gets to $32 million from $17 million.

It also will increase the number of playoff teams from 10 to 12 and eventually increase the length of the season from 16 to 18 weeks.

The total NFL package is almost double what the league obtained in its last contract, when it got $1.428 billion over three years.

The negotiators increased the season to 17 weeks for the next two years and 18 weeks thereafter, although teams will continue to play a 16-game schedule. They added a Sunday night cable package for the first half of season, which was sold to Turner Broadcasting, and finally added two more playoff teams, sweetening the ABC pot by giving the network its first playoff games ever.

The revenue does not include the 1994 Super Bowl, which is expected to bring in an additional $40 million or more when it is bid upon at the end of the year.


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