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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Orlando Sentinel and parent company Tribune Publishing being sued for unpaid rent

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2020 at 4:52 PM

  • Photo courtesy Orlando Sentinel/Facebook
Local daily newspaper the Orlando Sentinel has been sued by its landlord for three months of alleged unpaid rent, according to court documents from the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.

The Miami-based landlord Orlando Opportunities South B LLC and Midtown Opportunities VIB LLC sued both the Sentinel and parent company, Tribune Publishing Co., on June 18 for rent money owed on its 18-acre downtown campus.

Orlando Business Journal reports that the landlord is seeking $369,623.77 for office space and $164,931.53 for industrial space. The Sentinel's lease on the building expires in 2023.

Tribune Publishing  which owns multiple newspapers around the country including the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and the South Florida Sun Sentinel had earlier noted in a June SEC filing that it was withholding rent payments for a "majority of its facilities" amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, publisher Nancy A. Meyer sent a memo to staff this week confirming the SEC filing: “Consistent with our past internal messaging and communication from Tribune Publishing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, many of our facilities withheld rent in April, May and June due to the pandemic.”

Tribune Publishing is currently attempting to fend off a gradual takeover by vulture investment hedge fund Alden Global Capital, adding Alden's co-founder Randall Smith to Tribune's board as a bargaining chip to extend a "standstill" agreement that would prevent a hostile buyout by Alden into 2021.

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