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Washington Post, Bloomberg to launch news service

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MICHAEL LIEDTKE | October 1, 2009 06:57 PM EST | AP

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Washington Post and Bloomberg News are teaming up in a new partnership that will distribute their political and financial coverage to a broader audience.

The venture announced Thursday includes a news service that fills the void created by the dissolution of a 47-year alliance between the Post and the Los Angeles Times. The newspapers disclosed their plans to divorce on Wednesday.

Besides distributing about 120 stories per day beginning Jan. 1 to other news organizations, the Post and Bloomberg will share content with each other and co-produce an online business news page on the Post's Web site.

Financial terms of the arrangement weren't disclosed.

The deal will help the Post compensate for a staff that has been shrinking in recent years. Like large newspapers across the United States, the Post has been shedding employees because of a steep drop in advertising sales. The Post's ad revenue from its print edition plunged 27 percent in the first half of this year, leaving the newspaper with $57 million less to pay its expenses.

New York-based Bloomberg hasn't been as hard hit because it doesn't rely as much on advertising. It caters to investors, bankers and other financial services employees who pay to receive a variety of business coverage and data through Bloomberg terminals. Some of the Post's coverage will now be sent to those terminals.

The Post will be able to draw on Bloomberg's more than 1,500 reporters and editors to supplement its staff coverage online and in print.

"This is a formidable collaboration," said Marcus Brauchli, executive editor of The Washington Post. "It brings together the Post's vast expertise on politics and policy news in Washington with Bloomberg's highly regarded global financial, economic and political news franchise."

The Washington Post is the fifth-largest U.S. newspaper with a weekday circulation of 665,000. Bloomberg News is owned by Bloomberg LP, a private company controlled by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg LP could be on the verge of extending its reach even further. It's among seven finalists in the bidding to buy BusinessWeek magazine from McGraw-Hill Cos., according to BusinessWeek.