Newspaper sues ex-reporter over control of Twitter account

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The owner of a Virginia newspaper is suing a former reporter for refusing to give up control of a Twitter account the paper says it owns.

BH Media Group Inc., the parent company of The Roanoke Times, filed a lawsuit Monday alleging Virginia Tech football beat reporter Andy Bitter has misappropriated trade secrets by using the account at his new job at The Athletic website.

Another reporter started the account and the paper gave it to Bitter in 2011. He uses the handle @AndyBitterVT and has about 27,500 followers.

The lawsuit alleges Bitter was issued an employee handbook that makes it clear social media accounts “and communications on those accounts” are BH Media’s property.

Bitter and a BH Media attorney declined to comment.

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