Fight between Emmis and Alden still headed for trial


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Emmis Communications recently struck a deal to buy back Alden Global Capital’s preferred stock holdings for $16.3 million. That only came after a bigger deal to settle pending litigation fell apart and Emmis sued a former board member for allegedly leaking information to Alden. So, it looks like the battling in court will continue.

Even before the deal was struck on the preferred stock buyback, a settlement conference had been set for January in the federal lawsuit filed against Alden Global Capital by JS Acquisition, its one-time partner. JS Acquisition is the company owned by Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan. It sued Alden after Alden bailed on their deal to buy out public stockholders and take Emmis private.

If there is no settlement and the case does go to trial it won’t be in 2012. The latest action by US District Judge William Lawrence was to revise his calendar and move the scheduled jury trial from July 2012 to March 18, 2013. The final pre-trial conference has been rescheduled from June 2012 to February 19, 2013.

RBR-TVBR observation: As usual, good news only for the lawyers who will keep racking up billable hours for an extra year.