Post-News joint operating agreement ends not with a bang, but with a press release

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The death of the joint-operating agreement that was supposed to sustain a business partnership between the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News for a half-century but didn't survive for even one decade can't help seeming anticlimactic. After all, the Rocky's been gone for six months now, as John Temple, the tabloid's former editor, publisher and president, noted on his blog in an often-depressing rundown of comments from former staffers. Since then, the Post has moved forward with only minor alterations, and if its circulation may not quite be as high as de facto owner and MediaNews Group head Dean Singleton might like, it hasn't fallen off a cliff as far as anyone can tell.

MediaNews is a private company, so it's under no obligation to share all of its financial machinations -- and in the press release announcing the final dissolving of the JOA, it doesn't. The document mentions almost parenthetically that "the company also announced that it has completed a new financing of the combined entity with its bank lenders."

This accomplishment is huge, giving the Post its best chance to find its footing amid the worst period for newspapering in living memory. Whether that'll be enough to sustain it for a long haul is anyone's guess, especially considering the dearth of specifics. But at least for now, Singleton appears to have some breathing room.

The Denver Post press release also covers the merger into MediaNews Group of Prairie Mountain Publishing Company, whose properties include the Boulder Daily Camera and the Colorado Daily. Read it after the jump.

For Immediate Release

Denver -- The Denver Post and Denver Newspaper Agency announced today the completion of a transaction that formally ends the joint operating agreement and merges The Denver Post and DNA into one company under management and ownership of MediaNews Group.

Additionally, Prairie Mountain Publishing Company, previously equally owned by MediaNews Group and the E.W. Scripps Company, has been merged into the MediaNews-owned company. Prairie Mountain Newspapers include the Boulder Daily Camera, Fort Morgan Times, Morgan Times Review, Lamar Ledger, Sterling Journal-Advocate, Akron News Reporter, Broomfield Enterprise, Brush News-Tribune, Burlington Record, Estes Park Trail-Gazette, Julesburg Advocate, and Colorado Daily.

The Company also announced that it has completed a new financing of the combined entity with its bank lenders.

"The completion of these agreements puts The Denver Post on a more solid foundation to prosper during these challenging economic times," said William Dean Singleton, chairman and publisher of The Denver Post.

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