May 23: The Seattle Times Co. and Hearst Corp., owner of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, enter a joint-operating agreement (JOA), under which the papers publish separately, but The Times handles all non-news functions for both, including printing, distribution and marketing.
Feb. 2: The two companies renegotiate the contract, allowing The Times to shift from afternoon to morning publication and Hearst to receive a larger share of the revenue split prescribed by the agreement.
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March 6: The Times begins publishing in the morning.
April 28: Hearst files suit in King County Superior Court to block The Times Co. from taking actions that could close one of the papers or end the JOA.
April 29: The Times Co. formally notifies Hearst that The Times had financial losses under the JOA in 2000, 2001 and 2002. That opens the way for The Times to invoke the JOA contract’s “loss clause,” which could lead to closing one paper or terminating the JOA within 18 months.
June 6: The U.S. Department of Justice discloses it is investigating the Seattle JOA and issues surrounding it.
July 14: Superior Court Judge Greg Canova grants a group called the Committee for a Two-Newspaper Town intervenor status in the case. The group has support from the local newspaper union.
Sept. 12: Canova hears arguments in court on one part of Hearst’s suit: that a newspaper strike caused The Times losses in 2000 and 2001 and, therefore, The Times’ loss claims for those years should be disallowed.
Sept. 25: Canova rules for Hearst, meaning The Times cannot invoke the JOA contract’s loss clause.
Oct. 7: Times appeals Canova’s decision to the state Court of Appeals.
Feb. 4: Times officials say the newspaper lost money under the JOA in 2003 — the fourth consecutive year of losses.
March 22: A three-judge Appeals Court panel rules in favor of The Times, sending the case back to the lower court with orders to reverse Canova’s September decision.
April 19: Hearst appeals ruling to the state Supreme Court.
Feb. 15: All parties argue their case before the Supreme Court.
May 13: The Department of Justice issues a press release saying it found insufficient evidence to pursue an antitrust case on how The Times administers the JOA.
June 30: The Supreme Court unanimously upholds the Appeals Court decision, sending the case back to Superior Court.