Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Papers struggle, merge coverage

Imagine the surprise of Eugene-area residents if they were to open up their daily Register-Guard to read the results of, say, the previous night's women's soccer game, only to find the byline Oregon Daily Emerald beneath the writer's name. Surely, the outsourcing of Oregon's non-revenue sports coverage to the University's student paper would raise a small outcry.

How, then, must Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, residents feel? On Jan. 12, the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram announced an unprecedented blockbuster deal: The News would share coverage of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars with the Star-Telegram, and the Star-Telegram would share coverage of the Texas Rangers with the News. Both papers will cover the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas high school sports scene - the two juiciest beats - as per usual. The reason being?

"This arrangement allows both papers to reduce expenses, eliminate duplicative stories and still maintain high quality exclusive coverage our readers have come to expect," said Robert W. Mong Jr., editor of the News, in a published staff memo.

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