TAMPA — A judge this week dismissed a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores lawsuit against the owner of the Tampa Tribune that alleged the newspaper fraudulently inflated its circulation figures before negotiating advertising deals.
Lawyers for Tampa Media Group, a subsidiary of California-based Revolution Capital Group, which bought the paper from Media General in October 2012, contended in court documents that the fraud allegations were "overly vague."
Citing an "inadvertent disclosure by an employee of the Tampa Tribune" in late 2013, Jo-Ann said in its lawsuit filed in February that the paper's circulation figures were "fraudulently and grossly exaggerated and inflated by tens of thousands of customers per week."
Hillsborough Circuit Court Judge Martha Cook dismissed the case but did not give a specific reason why. She ruled Jo-Ann could file an updated complaint in the next 30 days. Attorneys for the Ohio-based chain said Friday that they expected to refile.