Two days after Seattle's life as a two-newspaper town was extended, the payoff was on display in today's morning dailies, going at each other.

From the

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Let The News War Begin

Times reveals P-I tab plan, P-I rats out Blethens

Two days after Seattle's life as a two-newspaper town was extended, the payoff was on display in today's morning dailies, going at each other.

From the Times, we learn that the P-I is considering going tabloid - something it should have done long ago (a tab format has been mocked up in the past, along with a plan to change the name - to the Seattle Post, until editors realized that people might then start calling it the Seattle P). But it sounds like the tab idea will fly. Reports Eric Pryne:

P-I Publisher Roger Oglesby said Tuesday that such a change "has been discussed at the P-I quite a bit over the past few years." It would serve to differentiate the smaller P-I from The Times, he said.

Oglesby said he didn't know whether a tabloid P-I would increase combined revenues for the two newspapers, but "it's certainly something worth talking about."

Meanwhile, from the P-I today, comes word that Times publisher Frank Blethen and his family, who have been dipping into the two newspapers' joint revenues for a twice-annual business retreat, will have to pay their own tab. Says Dan Richman:

That revised joint operating agreement, or JOA, also limits how much salary can be paid to top Times Co. executives out of the papers' joint account. And it forbids charging to the joint operation the costs associated with running other Times Co. operations, such as its newspapers in Maine....

The new agreement doesn't say The Times Co. wrongly charged any expenses to the joint operation. And because the settlement avoided arbitration that was set to begin Monday, whether the company did so won't be revealed.

But the expenses clampdown is another indication that -  to quote a number of observers trying to decide winners and losers in the legal fight the Times picked -  "the Times blinked," costing it millions.

Update: HorsesAss has another take on the P in the P-I - about a drunken limo full of P-I reporters who pissed on the Times corporate lawn Monday night - squatting female included. Now that's newspapering!

 
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