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Now, according to a Tribune article about a story originally uncovered by blogger Robert Feder (the Sun-Times former tv beat reporter for nearly three decades), the two papers are squabbling over the Sun-Times' alleged foot-dragging in paying its printing tab.
A Tribune spokesperson said the rival dailies (they even competed to see which would be the first to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy--both did, but the Trib took longer to emerge) are "working to resolve a disagreement." Reportedly, the Tribune has resorted to pressuring the Sun-Times and socking it with late fees because the tabloid has supposedly been tardy in meeting monthly payments on the approximately $70 million annual payment to the Tribune (the figure includes distribution deal payment money).
The 10-year printing pact contains a two-year cancellation clause. The Sun-Times hoped to realize a $10 million savings when it outsourced printing to the Tribune and shuttered its South Ashland Ave. printing facility.