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A bitter media feud: Texas Monthly sues the New York Times for hiring move, asks for $1 million

Jake Silverstein
Silverstein could be sued by his soon-to-be former employer. Texas Monthly Talks/ KLRU

Just two weeks after Texas Monthly editor in chief Jake Silverstein announced he was leaving to head The New York Times Magazine, Texas Monthly's publisher is suing The Gray Lady herself. 

In an article published Friday, (The New York Times apparently follows the basic PR playbook of pushing out bad news late Friday afternoons), the paper revealed that Emmis Communications, the powerhouse media brand that owns Texas Monthly, is filing a lawsuit against The New York Times Company. The lawsuit, which was filed in Travis County, accuses the Times of causing Silverstein to breach his three-year employment contract with Emmis.

New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy called the action "inexplicable" in a statement and noted that the paper still expects Silverstein to join the masthead next month.

This news marks a rather sad end to Silverstein's much lauded tenure at the helm of Texas Monthlyone that included 12 National Magazine Award nominations. Brian D. Sweany has been named interim editor in chief of Texas Monthly. In a call with CultureMap, Sweany expressed his support for Silverstein and emphasized that he will be greatly missed by his staff.

As for Silverstein, it seems he's taking the lawsuit in stride. According to New York magazine, the soon-to-be former Texan was at the New York Times Building in midtown Manhattan Friday meeting his new colleagues.

The lawsuit asks for up to $1 million in damages due to "the Times’s tortious actions” in causing Silverstein to break his contract.  

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