For those who haven’t already realized it:  Two longtime North Texas newspaper rivals, The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram, are now sharing arts and lifestyle stories.

I’d heard this was happening, and then I began noticing examples of it in print. For example, the DMN’s GuideDaily section featured a story that ran  in the Startlegram, about a show of Italian artists’ Nativity scenes now on view at the Kimbell

It ran in the FWST almost two weeks ago, on Nov. 30; it only got into GuideDaily today. The S-T’s writer, Gaile Robinson, was credited as a “Special Contributor,” the usual DMN designation for freelancers. (BTW, Gaile was on staff at the DMN, some 20-odd years ago.)

Visual arts, theater, dance and classical-music reviews will be shared by the two papers. Will TV reviews be next? Movies? Pop music? It’s probably only a matter of time.

Expect to see shared stories also appear in the food and home sections of the DMN, which no longer have any staff writers and depend pretty much on freelancers for local lifestyles content.

Other parts of the newspapers are sure to be affected. Word is that the S-T will take over MLB coverage for the two papers’ sports sections, while the DMN will cover the Mavs and Stars for both papers. You can bet that ever-observant sports fans will notice that, even if the arts and lifestyle coverage changes happen to escape them.

And why would the DMN even bother to maintain a Fort Worth news bureau any more, if the S-T’s writers now are at the Dallas paper’s disposal?

This is happening, of course, to save manpower [read: salaries/benefits] at both newspapers. The end result, inevitably, will be that fewer local writers are needed on both papers, so the staffs of both will shrink further.

And so fewer voices than ever will be heard in the land.

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