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Competitors' news racks found in back lot of San Jose Mercury News, police investigate

San Jose police have opened an investigation of the Mercury News after dozens of newspaper racks from competing publications were found in the Merc’s back lot.

The company Circulation Management, which distributes free publications, discovered the racks on Wednesday. Many had been thrown into a metal recycling bin.

CBS5’s live shot from outside the Merc

Publishers of San Jose Metro and the Palo Alto Daily Post said they never gave the Merc permission to handle their newsracks, yet their racks were found on Merc property.

Merc VP David Rounds says his employees, when they confiscated the racks, were simply responding to complaints from cities about news rack problems, and that taking the racks to help the cities is a standard procedure.

But when the Daily Post contacted Mountain View, Menlo Park and Palo Alto’s code enforcement personnel, they said that if they have a problem with a news rack, they would contact the owner of the rack, not a competitor of the rack’s owner.

(Full disclosure: The editor of the Press Club’s website is Dave Price, who is co-publisher of the Daily Post.)

Here’s how various media outlets covered this story:

KTVU made it the top story on its Thursday, Aug. 2, “10 O’Clock News.”

San Jose Inside.com, a news site owned by Metro, one of the paper’s whose racks were taken by the Merc.

News media blogger Jim Romenesko posted the first online report about this controversy and included text from the Daily Post, which isn’t available online.

CBS 5, whose headline is “Competitors Find Their Newsracks Behind Mercury News Offices”

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