The Times and the P-I have settled their Joint Operating Agreement dispute. Eli Sanders has the scoop over on Slog:
Under the terms of the agreement, announced this morning, the Seattle Times Company will pay $49 million to the Hearst Corporation in order to end Hearst’s right to collect a percentage of Seattle Times revenues in the event that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer closes.
Hearst will pay $25 million to the Times Co. to guarantee that the Times Co. will not try to end their Joint Operating Agreement due to lost revenue, at least until 2016.
That means two daily newspapers will continue to publish in Seattle, for now. At first glance, it also means that Hearst has lost one of its incentives to close the P-I (the guaranteed Times revenue) while the Times Co. has lost one its easy ways to slip out of the JOA (claiming the JOA needs to be ended because the Times is losing revenue under the arrangement) until 2016.
This is great news for Seattle. Slog also has the text of a letter from Frank Blethen to employees.