According to Koval, when the University decided last summer to give delivery service to Penn News, it only intended the change to last one year. He said the current financial problems facing the embattled delivery service have not played any role in the decision. "It was going to be a one-year separation no matter what," he said. "This has been a consistent posture on my part since last August." But PSA will not wait until Penn News' contract expires this summer before getting involved, according to Koval. "We want to see what it is we can do to alleviate some of the current dilemna," he said. Penn News currently owes three newspaper companies over $24,000 in unpaid bills and its owner, Wharton junior Mike Monk, faces a possible investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney's office. PSA General Manager Thomas Hauber said last night that he met with Monk last Wednesday. At the meeting, the two agreed that Monk would return the next day with company records to discuss ways of resolving Penn News' problems, Hauber said. However, Monk never returned. "We have not seen him or heard from him since," Hauber said. "Until we get some cooperation from Penn News in providing data, it's going to be tough to come up with a solution," Koval added. Despite Monk's failure to provide the information, Koval said he still would like to help resolve the situation. One important problem is dealing with those students who paid for subscriptions this year but did not receive newspapers. Koval said he will "somehow work with Penn News" to resolve the issue. "I do not know what our action will be, but maybe PSA will provide them with papers somehow through some other source, even though the money was given over to Penn News," he said. He said one possibility would be to have newspapers delivered to Houston Hall, where these subscribers could pick up their copies. In addition, the vice deputy provost said Penn News will have to decide whether to seek payment from subscribers who never paid. "Whatever action is taken, it's safe to assume that people who have not paid for newspapers will not get delivery this semester unless they pay," Koval said. He did say that 13 students who sent payments for Penn News to PSA either would receive refunds from PSA or be guaranteed future deliveries, since the students thought they were working through PSA. He emphasized, however, that neither PSA nor the University will help Monk pay off any part of the money Penn News owes The New York Times, The Philadelpia Inquirer and USA Today. "Whatever debts Penn News has with vendors is really a matter between Penn News and the vendors," he said. Because he claimed the PSA newspaper delivery service lost more than $20,000 last year, Koval said PSA may have to stop delivering to students' doors. That may mean PSA will use the drop-box system implemented last semester by Penn News. "We're going to have to reassess the entire operation to see how we might offer students the most convenient way to get a newspaper," he said. He said Penn is "one of the only schools where delivery is door-to-door." Officials at the Times, the Inquirer and USA Today said they have not received payment from Penn News or heard from Monk. While enthusiastic about the prospect of dealing with PSA, the officials said they would continue to press Monk to pay his debts. "That's fine if PSA starts delivering papers again," Inquirer Campus Sales Manager Joel Kopke said. "But I'm concerned about outstanding debts and who pays for future papers." Tony Sarin, a sales representative for USA Today, said the fact that Penn News and PSA are "separate entities" means that USA Today will do business with PSA. But, he added, "in any future arrangement, we won't wait until the guy puts his hands up and says, 'I can't pay.' " Times spokesperson Nancy Nielsen said the Times will begin working with PSA this fall. Until then, the newspaper will try to supply the Book Store with more copies, she said.Comments powered by Disqus
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