Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

Buyouts Threaten Two Dailies; Pulitzer, Inc. Supports Closing

Magazine article St. Louis Journalism Review

Buyouts Threaten Two Dailies; Pulitzer, Inc. Supports Closing

Article excerpt

San Francisco and Honolulu are on the verge of becoming one-newspaper towns.

For more than one hundred years the Chronicle and Examiner have battled in San Francisco. But in 1964, the papers formed a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) which the Hearst Corp. which owns the Examiner, now wants to dissolve by buying the Chronicle for $660 million and closing it down.

In Honolulu, Gannett, which owns the Honolulu Advertiser, agreed to pay $26.5 million to the Liberty Newspapers Group, owner of the Star-Bulletin, to shut down the paper by Oct. 30, 1999. They, too, had operated under a JOA.

While a number of JOAs existed before 1970, the newspaper lobby succeeded for legislation to catch up with their members illegal action and got Congress to pass the Newspaper Preservation Act that year. That legislation sanctioned monopolies, profit pooling, market allocations and price fixing. At that time, the legislation preserved the monopoly power of newspapers in 22 cities. Ultimately, six more JOAs were entered into by competing newspapers. Today, only 13 JOAs are surviving.

St. Louis has the distinction of being the first case in which a JOA had failed in keeping two newspapers alive. Indeed, the closure of the Globe in 1984 and a payoff of about half the profits of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to the Herald Co., owners of the Globe, until the middle of the 21st century has set the pattern for other closures.

While in 1984 the U. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.