WHAT THE PALO ALTO DAILY POST REPORTS IN TODAY’S PRINT EDITION:
BY ANGELA RUGGIERO
Daily Post Staff Writer
About 30 missing newspaper racks, including several belonging to the Daily Post, were discovered yesterday in the back lot of the Mercury News building in San Jose.
Racks belonging to the Post, Metro, SF Weekly and USA Today have mysteriously disappeared from city streets recently.
When representatives of those newspapers attempted to recover the racks yesterday, Merc security guards threatened them with arrest. Merc officials didn’t return calls from the Post for comment. Metro publisher Dan Pulcrano called it “the worst example of anti-competitive activities that I have seen in three decades of publishing.”
“Apparently they’ve decided that since they are shrinking the circulation of their failing publications and melting down their own racks, they need to extend that methodology to racks they don’t own, whether legal or not.”
Some of the racks were found in a metal recycling dumpster behind the Merc headquarters, suggesting they might possibly be sold to a salvaging company. Metal thefts have been increasing as the value of metals has soared. …
HERE’S THE SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS’ STATEMENT:
Earlier this afternoon, representatives from a local newspaper came onto our property unannounced claiming that we had stolen their newsracks. To be clear, we have not stolen anyone’s newsracks. We were, however, recently contacted by local authorities and instructed to remove several newsracks that were not in compliance with a local rack ordinance. We complied with the request and notified the individual publishers whose racks we removed. The racks have been stored on our property since that time.
This is a normal practice in the industry that is recognized by the various municipalities as well as the publishers who place racks on the streets. This afternoon was the first time any of the publishers notified us that they were interested in retrieving the racks.
Given that we had not been provided with prior notice of their desire to retrieve the racks, after discussions with the publisher’s representatives and the San Jose police, we agreed earlier this afternoon to meet again tomorrow. At that time, we would make all the racks available for pickup by the publisher’s representatives, which had been our desire all along. Everyone was satisfied with this arrangement.
Given this prior understanding, we are unclear what led to the incident earlier this evening.