By Michael S. Rosenwald
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Editors from The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun said yesterday that they have agreed to begin sharing certain stories, photos and other news content.
The deal comes as both newspapers, like the rest of the industry, struggle to retain readers and cut costs as the economics of the business shift.
The agreement takes effect Jan. 1 and primarily covers day-to-day news about Maryland and sports. Also, the papers can draw on one another's national, international and feature stories contributed to the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. Previously, the papers were not allowed to use one another's offerings on the wire service.
"We have great respect for The Baltimore Sun's reporting and believe adding their expertise to our regional coverage will be very beneficial to our readers," Marcus Brauchli, The Post's executive editor, said in a news release.
Exclusive stories will generally not be shared between papers. Also out of bounds are articles about Maryland state government and University of Maryland athletics, both of which are competitive subjects to each paper.
Robert J. McCartney, The Post's assistant managing editor for Metro news, said his staff would coordinate with Sun editors on stories in some areas of Maryland.
"So, if a story broke on Eastern Shore or in Western Maryland, then we'd talk with the Sun and figure out who was in a better position to send a reporter, and both papers would use that reporter's story," McCartney said. "Of course, both papers can send their own reporters if they choose."
McCartney said stories will be labeled as originating from The Post or the Sun and will carry bylines where appropriate.
Timothy A. Franklin, the Sun's editor, said in the statement: "The Washington Post is one of America's most respected news organizations, and adding its award-winning coverage of the federal government and national affairs to The Sun's pages will help make our paper even more relevant and comprehensive for readers."
The Sun has closed its foreign bureaus and reduced its Washington coverage in recent years.
Franklin resigned yesterday and will be replaced at the beginning of 2009 by J. Montgomery "Monty" Cook, a former assistant sports editor at The Post. Cook was the Sun's deputy managing editor, then a year ago was promoted to director of content development.