Wood War Is Over (If You Want It)

billboard071408 Wood War Is Over (If You Want It)Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria … and this! Tim Arango at The Times is reporting something that was probably once unfathomable but utterly plausible in today’s bleak, sad newspaper climate: Rupert Murdoch and Mort Zuckerman are negotiating a plan to combine some back offices to ease operating costs for The New York Post and the Daily News.

He reports:

Lawyers for both newspapers are trying to find a structure for an agreement that would not require signing a Joint Operating Agreement — a mechanism other papers have used that would require creating a separate entity with a separate board and essentially mean merging all business functions while maintaining separate newsrooms.

Instead, the talks have centered on combining printing, distribution and other back-office functions, while maintaining separate companies and news staffs, in an effort to cut millions in annual costs.

The talks started after Murdoch and Zuckerman both failed in their bid to win over Newsday.