P.M. BRIEFING : Joint Detroit Paper Operation Gains

<i> From Times wire services </i>

The Supreme Court cleared the way today for joint operation of the business, advertising and production operations of Detroit’s two daily newspapers, the Free Press and the News.

The justices, by a 7-2 vote, refused to grant a stay requested by a small group of readers and advertisers that would block the so-called joint operating agreement between the Free Press, owned by Knight-Ridder Inc., and the News, owned by Gannett Co.

The order also lifted a stay of the agreement granted March 4 by Justice William J. Brennan. Justices Harry A. Blackmun and John Paul Stevens voted to continue the stay so an appeal could be heard.