Saw this link on MediaBistro today: rumors fly that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer may be sold or shut down.
I think I predicted that in my thesis on joint operating agreements almost ten years ago. But as the wonderfully-named website Newspaper Death Watch notes, the P-I situation hasn’t been confirmed yet. Still, it’s sad to see that it might really happen. I hate it when another newspaper goes under. Yet another city may be left with only one major newspaper.
Joint operating agreements, or JOAs, were established by the Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970 as a strategy to supposedly preserve the existence of multiple newspapers in one market and thus, by extension, competition. Less than a dozen cities still have them in effect, though. As Joseph Duggan noted in an article on RealClearMarkets.com, JOAs existed in some cities just to postpone a monopoly for a few more years. That may be the case, ultimately, in Seattle.
I wonder who’s next?