Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 20, 2014 — In Travis County, Texas, the publisher of Texas Monthly has filed suit against The New York Times Company after the Times hired the magazine’s former editor, Jake Silverstein, to become editor of The
New York Times Magazine.
The lawsuit alleges that the Times tortiously interfered with Silverstein’s three-year contract with Texas Monthly, which does not expire until February 2015. Silverstein is not named as a defendant. “In order to prove tortious interference, Texas Monthly will likely need to show that Silverstein had an enforceable contract with Texas Monthly and that the Times caused Texas Monthly damages by intentionally interfering with that contract,” said Gregory D. Jordan, an Austin business litigation attorney not involved with the case.
A New York Times spokeswoman stated that the company had an understanding with Emmis Publishing, the publisher of Texas Monthly. Allegedly, the two companies agreed that Silverstein would be allowed to exit his contract to work for the Times. As such, she called the magazine’s decision to sue “inexplicable.”
Greg Loewen, the president of Emmis Publishing, said that early in the process, his company had notified the Times that a settlement would have to be
reached to account for the magazine’s costs in finding a new editor. “A lawsuit is obviously not the desired outcome in this type of situation. It is expensive for both parties,” noted Jordan. “And even though the employee is not named as a defendant, the litigation could have significant implications on Silverstein’s ability to continue working with the Times.”
A report in The New York Times initially reported that Silverstein would be named in the lawsuit, but the actual suit named only the Times. Damages of betwee
n $200,000 and $1,000,000 are sought. During Silverstein’s tenure at Texas Monthly, the magazine won four National Magazine Awards and was nominated for eight others.
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