Judge blocks sale of paper to Gannett

A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked Tribune Co.'s sale of a Connecticut newspaper to Gannett Co., citing pending arbitration proceedings with unionized newsroom employees.

U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello issued a preliminary injunction of Gannett's acquisition of The (Stamford) Advocate. The injunction expires April 6, the day by which Covello said an arbitrator should rule.

Local 2110 of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America has said that Gannett does not plan to honor the contract with the union's 36 reporters and photographers.

Maida Rosenstein, president of Local 2110, said the union is seeking protections so that Gannett will honor the workers' contract.

Tribune Co. spokesman Gary Weitman said an arbitration hearing has been set for Friday.

Tribune, whose media holdings include the Chicago Tribune, announced this month that it would sell the Advocate and Greenwich Time newspapers, with a combined circulation of 39,000, for $73 million.