The Hearst Corp. is not - not - buying the Seattle Times, a Hearst official said today, and has dropped its $1-million-a-year option for first right-of-refusal to purchase the paper, were it ever to be sold. The Times, meanwhile, yesterday told the Newspaper Guild and other unions it wants a 12 percent pay cut from union members.
No decision has been made on whether Hearst's semi-doomed Seattle P-I will in fact become a Web-only news medium, says Hearst vice-president and general counsel Eve Burton. But if it does become an e-paper, it will be as a separate entity from the Times, "outside the JOA" - the 26-year-old Joint Operating Agreement.
owner's) hands, though there's no telling how that would pan out
economically after dropping the revenue-sharing JOA. It might at least mean the hiring of an ad
sales staff the P-I currently doesn't have - all such sales are now
handled by the Times.
Update: Here's today's response from CTNT to Hearst's letter:
CTNT today encourages the community to discuss a possible community-wide campaign to purchase the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The goal is to ensure that the P-I, which has been publishing local news daily since 1863, is not lost forever. "Time is running out," said CTNT co-chair Anne Bremner, noting that the 60-day sale period announced on January 9 is nearly half over. Co-chair Phil Talmadge said, "We hope that the people of Seattle will show that they are willing and able to prevent the silencing of a valued editorial voice." ...CTNT welcomes help from local elected officials, as well as business, labor, environmental, neighborhood and other community groups, in responding to the closure threat. Community members interested in participating in the campaign are encouraged to write to firstname.lastname@example.org.