Burying the hatchet in Dallas-Ft. Worth


Once fierce competitors, Belo’s Dallas Morning News and McClatchey’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram have cut a deal to share sports coverage. The content-sharing arrangement is just another example of newspapers finding ways to reduce overhead in tough times.

Beginning February 1st, the Morning News will be responsible for basic coverage of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars that both papers will use, while the Star-Telegram will provide coverage of the Texas Rangers. Each newspaper will continue to cover the Dallas Cowboys separately.

“This arrangement allows both papers to reduce expenses, eliminate duplicative stories and still maintain high quality exclusive coverage our readers have come to expect,” said Robert Mong Jr., editor of The Morning News, in a memo to staffers.

The two dailies will also share coverage of some college teams and other sports events.

"We won’t be trading things like investigative stories or other exclusives that make each paper unique," said Star-Telegram Executive Editor Jim Witt in his paper’s report on the deal. The two newspapers will also not share commentary from their sports columnists.

RBR/TVBR observation: We expect to see lots more creative deals to cut overhead by sharing content. Newspapers sharing with other newspapers in some cases, but also with TV, radio and new media competitors. Everybody is looking to do partnerships. In some cases, it is literally a fight for survival.