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Another newspaper joint-operating agreement teeters on the brink

Will 2009 go down in journalism history as the year when every two-newspaper town turned into a one-newspaper town? Events seem to be pointing in that direction. The Associated Press is reporting that Hearst Newspapers has put a for-sale sign on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, another publication involved in a joint-operating agreement (with, in this case, the stronger Seattle Times). Like E.W. Scripps, which is trying, kind of, to sell the Rocky Mountain News, Hearst has put a very short time frame on the process: just sixty days. Unless Bill Gates and a slew of other Pacific Northwest millionaires temporarily take leave of their senses, expect that period to pass without a bidding war for the P-I breaking out. -- Michael Roberts

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