seattle’s favorite daily paper might be for sale [developing]

screencap via twitter.

Here’s a shocker (except for those who predicted it [fimoculous] last week): As of an hour ago & via the Seattle Times (the irony), come reportsthat Hearst could be putting the P-I up for sale as soon as tomorrow. After that, by virtue of the J.O.A., they’d have only a month of survival while hoping for a buyer [king5]. All of this means that things don’t look good for the long-term existence of the P-I as a [print-based] publication or for Seattle as a two newspaper town. As much as I see continuing value in untrendy print, I think that a far-fetched and somewhat-positive resolution would be for some richbags to step in and try to make a go of it by running the P-I as an online/kindle operation. With the L.A. Times recently claiming that their online revenue is sufficient to meet their editorial payroll [buzzmachine], this option isn’t entirely impossible. Ditching print in favor of their already very popular website certainly wouldn’t be ideal, but it would be a lot better than the further disappearance of local newsgathering, engagement, and arts criticism from the city.

Just like Times publisher Frank Blethen [times], Big Blogger (and most recognizable P-I personality to those who already take the majority of their news online) Monica Guzman tweets that mood in the P-I’s newsroom is “stunned”. [twitter] Of course, it’s worth remembering that the original story has a single anonymous “source close to the sale” and the managing editor at the paper reports that neither he nor the publisher had any idea about the impending doom [p-i], so maybe it’s just a dicey rumor eagerly picked up by the TV news.


In other newsprint news, the Stranger’s print edition (printed across the mountains in Yakima) was almost a victim of the environment’s Seattle-isolating conspiracy until they made use of the Times’s print operation in Kent. [slog]

3 Comments so far

  1. wesa on January 8th, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

    I think it’s a Time’s staff member spreading the rumor. The Times has tried to get rid of the PI multiple times.

  2. josh on January 8th, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

    I hope you’re right. It seems pretty thinly sourced and widely denied.

  3. Zee Grega (zeegrega) on January 8th, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

    I hope Wesa’s right, too. There are things about the P-I that I don’t like, but overall I think it’s a pretty decent news organization and I’d be sad to see them gone.

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