Beset with layoffs and buyouts, five New York/New Jersey area newspapers are banding together to formalize their existing content-sharing relationships, E&P reports. The papers, some of whom have already been collaborating on sports and general news coverage, include NJ’s Star-Ledger and The Record; as well as NY’s Albany Times Union, The Buffalo News and the Daily News. Cablevision’s Long Island daily Newsday was initially part of the discussions, but eventually decided not to join. The group is officially calling itself the Northeast Consortium, though unlike other newspaper alliances like the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Newspaper Consortium or the NYT-backed quadrantOne, this organization will not be sharing ad sales.
The papers will be able to access each other’s articles, photos and graphics through a central hub that execs say will be fully functioning by May. The sharing among the Star-Ledger and Daily News began last week; some of the other papers also featured The Buffalo News coverage of last week’s fatal plan crash nearby. The move is part of a trend among smaller papers in South Florida and Maine, as well as larger collaborative efforts on sports (Washington Post and Baltimore Sun) and international news (CS Monitor and The *McClatchy* Company) that has helped publishers fill their newspapers as staffs have gone through waves of deep cuts the past year.