Thursday, February 26, 2009

JOAs a dying breed

The joint operating agreements that were meant to save dying publications in two-newspaper cities like Denver are themselves dying off.

JOAs were supposed to give struggling newspapers a shot at survival by letting them share business operations and costs with their in-town rivals while keeping separate, competing newsrooms. There have been more than two dozen JOAs.

But in recent years, newsroom and newsprint costs have risen, and the Internet has siphoned advertising dollars and readers, making JOAs increasingly unprofitable.

Denver's JOA took effect in 2001 between the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post, which was promised $60 million by the owners of the News to enter the agreement.


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