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Owner of Register Star, Daily Mail embroiled in legal dispute with former landlord

Nov 17, 2022 1:00 am

Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union Eight Iron Buildings Inc., the owner of the 1 City Center office building in Hudson, is suing the owners of the Register-Star and Daily Mail, alleging they owed six months of unpaid rent and have failed to meet the terms of their lease. A petition was filed one year ago against Hudson-Catskill Newspaper Corp., Johnson Newspaper Corp. and Columbia Greene Media Corp. Court records indicate the property owner, Eight Iron Buildings, Inc., gave Hudson-Catskill a temporary 50 percent reduction in rent from August 2020 until October 2020, when the media company gave notice it would be vacating the premises due to loss of staff and revenue. The property owner then demanded full payment for the lease term, including arrears, and offered to discuss a buyout. Negotiations were unsuccessful and in February 2021 Hudson-Catskill moved to 364 Warren Street, according to a recent court decision. The complaint alleges the newspapers and its affiliated website, HudsonValley360, stopped paying the $6,000 monthly rent on the 4,822-square-foot space in August 2020. Hudson-Catskill owes $69,720.00 in past due rent, including late fees and approximately $48,000 in future rent payments due under the lease for October 2021-May 2022, not including late fees. The dispute began during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when many people were working from home and businesses such as restaurants and retail stores had closed or limited in-person access. “... We had to move our office, and unfortunately the landlord decided to pursue the matter in court rather than work with us,” Alec Johnson, the president and chief operating officer of the Johnson Newspaper Group, said in an email. “This is a case of a landlord suing a small local newspaper that has a staff that is working daily to provide a public benefit to the community by reporting local news.” A trial has been scheduled to determine how much the newspaper group should pay in arrears. Columbia Greene Media Corp. is a division of Johnson Newspaper Corp., the owner of the Register-Star, The Daily Mail, the Windham Journal and Chatham Courier. Read the full story in the Times Union.