Seattle likely to lose one of two major dailies
As the potential end of one the West Coast’s most storied newspapers approaches, the staff of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (P-I) is being asked for ideas on how to save their jobs—maybe.
Executives of the Hearst Corp., owner of the P-I since 1921, want to create a leaner, profitable, online-only presence for the newspaper. They wrote to all employees Thursday requesting “ideas for partnerships, part-time models, revenue sharing, freelancing and any other creative types of structures that might help us reach our goal of creating a profitable business model in the market.”
The memo followed an announcement by Hearst that unless a buyer for the newspaper was soon found, the P-I would either stop printing by March 9 or go solely online with a smaller staff.
The P-I lost $14 million in 2008 and its circulation has dropped to about 117,000. Seattle’s other daily, the Seattle Times, may be in a better position to weather the recession if the P-I folds, said the Times’ publisher in a statement. The Times has a circulation of about 198,000.
Founded in 1863 as the city’s first newspaper, former P-I writers include Elements of Style author E.B. White and Dune author Frank Herbert. The son-in-law and daughter of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt published and edited the newspaper during the 1930s and 40s.
P-I staffers are chronicling their days in limbo via a blog.
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