Breaking News: The Oklahoman and Tulsa World really like each other…

Rumors have been circulating about this for awhile, but it looks like The Oklahoman and Tulsa World are finally going to announce a partnership where they will start sharing content.  There has yet to be any word on if they are going to start sharing other things like wives, power tools or pirated versions of Office 2007.  From a statement/press release/story that will probably appear in tomorrow’s Oklahoman:

News organizations to cooperate

Oklahoma’s two largest news organizations, The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World, announced Thursday they will share selected stories, photos and other news content to better serve their audiences throughout the state.

The agreement means some content produced by The Oklahoman’s staff will appear in the World and on the World’s Web site, TulsaWorld.com. Likewise, some news content produced by the World’s staff will appear in The Oklahoman and on NewsOK.com.

Stories and photos produced by one organization and published by the other will carry attribution to the contributing newspaper or Web site.

Ed Kelley, The Oklahoman’s editor, said the collaboration provides more coverage of news in Oklahoma for the organizations’ audiences at an uncertain time for the news industry. Both The Oklahoman and the World have terminated newsroom positions the past four months as part of cost-cutting measures.

Over time the two organizations will focus on reducing some areas of duplication, such as sending reporters from both The Oklahoman and the World to cover routine news events.

“We want to try to make sure the level of coverage doesn’t drop even as our staffs are smaller,” Kelley said. “Partnering with the World and their professionals makes a lot of sense for both of us.”

“We are excited at the quality and breadth of journalism that can be done by combining the two largest newsgathering operations in the state,” said Joe Worley, executive editor of the Tulsa World.

Both Kelley and Worley said the two organizations will maintain their separate voices on their editorial and opinion pages, as well as their individual approaches to gathering news.

As much as I want to complain about this, it actually seems like the smart thing to do.  It’s basically the newspaper equivalent of the Oklahoma Sports Blitz, only we don’t get John Holcomb incessantly gazing into the eyes of Dean Blevins.

I guess the only thing that really sucks about the deal is that we are going to have to continue to live with The Oklahoman’s biased editorial and political coverage, but we’ll live with it.  And that’s not even too bad of deal, because it still gives us some easy material to criticize.  Maybe they’ll combine their sports departments, too, and we’ll finally get good sports stuff to read like Dave Sittler and The Picker.