The Seattle Times

The Television & Movie Wiki: for TV, celebrities, and movies.

Image:Seattle times logo.png The Seattle Times is the leading daily newspaper in Seattle, Washington, United States. It began as the Seattle Press-Times, a four-page newspaper founded in 1891 with a daily circulation of 3,500, which Maine teacher and attorney Alden J. Blethen bought in 1896. Renamed the Seattle Daily Times, it doubled its circulation within half a year, and by 1915, circulation stood at 70,000. As of September 2005, weekday circulation stood at 215,502.

The Times is one of a few remaining major city dailies in the United States to be independently operated and owned by a local family (the Blethens). Knight Ridder owns a 49.5 percent stake in the paper and has right of first refusal if the Blethens decide to sell.

Since 1983, the Times and the Hearst-owned Seattle Post-Intelligencer are run under a "Joint Operating Agreement" (JOA) whereby advertising, production, marketing, and circulation are run by the Times for both papers. They maintain separate news and editorial departments. The papers put out a combined Sunday edition, whose circulation is 469,853, to which the P-I contributes only a few pages of editorial content. The Times tried to cancel the JOA in 2003, citing a clause in the JOA that three consecutive years of profit losses were cause for cancelling the agreement. Hearst disagreed, arguing that a force majeure clause prevents the Times from claiming losses as reason to end the JOA when they result from extraordinary events (in this case, a seven week newspaper strike). Each side publicly accused each other of attempting to put its rival out of business, and Hearst soon filed suit. After several appeals, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Times on June 30 2005, a decision that could determine the future of both papers. Hearst promises more suits to challenge other aspects of the Times' attempt to pull out of the JOA.

The Times was an afternoon paper until 1999, when it switched to morning delivery (like the P-I). The main reason stated was that delivery vehicles would be able to get around better in the early morning hours; critics suspected the actual rationale was to compete more directly with the P-I.

Editorially, the Times is probably more conservative than the liberal-leaning P-I, endorsing a mix of Republican and Democratic candidates and often leaning towards centrists and incumbents. In 2000, the paper endorsed liberal Democrat Bill Bradley for president early in the primary process, but ultimately went with George W. Bush when Bradley failed to win his party's nomination, amid speculation that publisher Frank Blethen had overruled the editorial board due to his opposition to the estate tax. In 2004, the paper endorsed John Kerry; Blethen has been critical of Bush administration policy on media consolidation.

Publishing history of predecessor papers

In 1886, Seattle Daily Call, extant 1885, merged with Seattle Daily Chronicle, extant 1881, to form Seattle Daily Press. Name changed to Seattle Press 1891.

Seattle Daily Times founded 1883; name changed to Seattle Times 1889.

Seattle Press and Seattle Times merged 1891 to form the Seattle Press-Times.

External link

Personal tools