My guess is that the Tennessean jumped the gun on this one. Probably trying to actually beat Lawson to an announcement...
Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner!
According to CupCrazy on NP.com, Mayor Dean's secretary jumped the gun and called the Tennessean reporter Michael Cass to give him the story first and instead of actually verifying it with the local group...he simply ran with it as fact to attempt to scoop Richard Lawson, who's now over at the City Paper. Lawson has basically backed up that sequence of events.
If you look at Lawson's article from this morning, he wrote that a "term sheet" needed to be signed by the local group and received by the Mayor's office before 1 PM to go ahead with the 3 PM press conference. Obviously, no term sheet has been signed or delivered yet.