Time Inc., which announced Thursday it is keeping The Washington Star open for two more weeks in hopes of finding a buyer, has made no substantial progress in locating one, a Time official said yesterday.
The corporation ahs contacted and has received inquiries from a total of 10 parties since the closing was announced in the face of mounting losses, "but there's nothing of substance at this point, none of them could be characterized as an offer," according to Time's director of public affairs, Louis Slovinsky.
He declined to disclose any of the parties. "We're not going to do that because it's not a good way to do business," he said.
Leaders of the 11 unions at The Star, which represent about 1200 or the 1,427 employes, have expressed interest in putting together enough investors to buy the Star. Yesterday a spokesman for the group said they are making progress.
Raymond G. Dick, local representative for the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild and a spokesman for the union group, said they have found investors interested in buying The Star and now must convince them that it is financially sound to do so.
Dick said the unions are exploring the concept of joint ownership between the employes and members of the Wsahington business community, but need more information from Time, and perhaps more time than two weeks to negotiate a deal.
"There's damn strong support in the business community and the whole labor movement in keeping this paper going," Dick said. "The obituary shouldn't be written yet."
Of Time's search to find a buyer for The Star, Post Publisher Donald E. Graham said yesterday: "We hope they succeed."
He said The Post has no concrete plans on what action to take, if any, should The Star actually close on Aug. 7.
In exploring a range of options, The Post is studying the feasability of expanding its staff slightly.
Some Star reporters in the last two days have said they expect to be offered jobs at The Post if The Star actually closes its doors next month.
Employes at The Star interviewed in recent days have expressed doubt that anyone will come to the rescue of the paper, and are busy searching for new jobs.
"Maybe there's somebody out there, but I'm already putting my provisions in the lifeboat," said Woody West, an editorial writer.
Reporters and editors in The Star newsroom yesterday were trying to get out the Sunday paper while many scoured a bulletin board with job information and placed long distance calls in search of jobs.
"We're going through the drill, but it isn't easy trying to write a piece; you get so distracted," said West.
Editors from around the country have been contacting the Star and coming to Washington to seek reporters, editors and photographers.
Others, however, are concerned that employes from other departments of the Star outside the newsroom may have trouble finding work.
Most Star reporters, although bitter and depressed about the paper's apparently imminent demise, said they would get the paper out from a sense of duty, and Slovinsky said yesterday that Time expects The Star to continue publishing until Aug. 7.
In announcing Time's decision to close the paper, officials said Thursday that the corporation had lost $35 million after taxes on the Star and, in three and a half years of operation, had failed to dent The Post's 75 percent share of the advertising market. The officials said there was no prospect for an improved financial position.
Slovinsky said yesterday that key Time Officials were away for the weekend and that he expected no immediate developments.