It’s Fallen to This: NY Post, Daily News Talk Cooperation

The New York Times today has this about bitter rivals the New York Post and the New York Daily News: the two competing papers are considering ways to combine some of the papers’ business functions. Doesn’t sound as if it would be quite joint-operating agreement, and talks apparently very early. But it speaks to just how tough things are for the two tabloids.

Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation owns The New York Post, and Mortimer B. Zuckerman, the real estate developer and owner of The Daily News, who for years have been bitter tabloid competitors, are considering the unthinkable: cooperation.

Representatives of Mr. Zuckerman and Mr. Murdoch have been in discussions for several weeks to find ways to combine some business functions of The Daily News and The Post, according to people briefed on the matter. They spoke anonymously because the talks are at a delicate stage and both sides had hoped they would remain confidential.

Talks between the two papers began in earnest in May after the announcement of a deal to sell Newsday, the Long Island daily, to the Cablevision Systems Corporation for $650 million. Both Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Zuckerman had bid for Newsday, which was being sold by the debt-laden Tribune Company. Each had offered $580 million and was unwilling to match Cablevision’s higher price.

One executive involved in the talks between The Post and The Daily News described them as “preliminary,” but said both sides were committed to reaching an agreement. The talks have not yet involved Mr. Murdoch’s and Mr. Zuckerman’s meeting face to face.

Much more here.

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