AUSTIN (CN) - Texas Monthly magazine sued The New York Times for hiring away editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein to edit the Times Sunday Magazine.
Emmis Publishing dba Texas Monthly sued The New York Times Company in Travis County Court. Silverstein is not a party to the lawsuit.
Emmis claims it signed Silverstein to a three-year agreement in March 1, 2012, for him to serve as the Austin-based magazine's editor-in-chief.
Nine months later, the Times contacted Silverstein about editing its Sunday magazine, according to the 6-page complaint.
"Over the next several months, representatives from the Times diligently and regularly directed discussions with and recruited Silverstein for the editor position," the complaint states. "In fact, in mid-March 2014, the Times' executive editor Jill Abramson came to Austin, Texas, and met with Silverstein to continue to push these efforts."
Emmis claims that when it learned of the recruitment, it informed Times managing editor Dean Baquet of Silverstein's contract and that it expected compensation if he were hired.
"In response, Baquet told Arnold that the Times would contact Texas Monthly should the Times decide to hire Silverstein," the complaint states. "On March 28, 2014, multiple media sources reported that Silverstein had been hired as the editor of the Times. Despite Baquet's assurances, the Times did not contact or inform Texas Monthly of its decision to ultimately hire Silverstein. In fact, plaintiff did not learn of the hiring until Silverstein informed plaintiff shortly before the defendant publicly announced the hiring across multiple media outlets."
Ennis claims the Times has refused "to even discuss" compensation.
Eileen Murphy, spokeswoman for the Times Company, called the lawsuit "inexplicable."
"We had an understanding with Emmis during the search that Jake would be permitted to exit his contract with Emmis and take the job," Murphy said, in a Saturday story in The New York Times.
"We believe there is no basis for a lawsuit. We look forward to having Mr. Silverstein join the Times next month and help us shape the future of the magazine."
The New York Times Co. publishes two national and 16 regional newspapers. It owns eight network-affiliated television stations, two New York-based radio stations and more than 40 web sites.
Emmis seeks damages for tortious interference with contract, and costs. It is represented by Derek Flynn with Munsch Hardt in Austin.Follow @davejourno
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