By: Staff Reports
Times and Post-Intelligencer Greet Morning Readers
A good old-fashioned newspaper war kicked off Monday in Seattle when the afternoon
Seattle Times switched to morning delivery, competing head-to-head with the rival
‘Welcome to the Post-Intelligencer, all you former Seattle Times afternoon
subscribers. We’re happy to have you,’ wrote Solveig Torvik for the
Post-Intelligencer’s editorial board.
The Hearst-owned Times, which has a joint operating agreement with the
Post-Intelligencer, welcomed readers without mentioning the rival paper.
‘The new morning Seattle Times is the same quality newspaper that people in the
Northwest rely on every day for in-depth local news and lifestyle information,’ the
paper said on its Web site.
Media observers say it will be the first such rivalry between partners in a
joint-operating agreement, which allows newspapers to share some operations such as
printing, advertising and distribution while maintaining separate editorial departments.
The 1983 JOA between the Seattle Times Co. and the Hearst Corp., which owns the
Post-Intelligencer, was renegotiated last year to allow the switch. The Blethen family
founded the Times in 1896, though the paper now is 49.5 percent owned by Knight Ridder.
The Times has 220,000 subscribers. The Post-Intelligencer has 191,000 subscribers, and
about 500,000 readers take the combined Sunday edition, for which the Post-Intelligencer
contributes three pages.
‘I’ve been at the P-I off and on since 1971, and I’ve never seen the level of financial
investment that Hearst now finally is making here,’ Torvik wrote.
‘So let the war begin!’
(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher