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January 09, 2009

Confirmed: Seattle P-I Up for Sale; Could Go Online Only; Could Fold Completely if No Buyer Steps in Within 60 Days

Sniff, sniff.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which first rolled off the presses in 1863 and has been the state's longest-publishing newspaper, is up for sale.

The newspaper's staff was called into a closed meeting today by Publisher Roger Oglesby. Present at the meeting was Hearst Newspaper President Steve Swartz, who told the newsroom that Hearst Corp. is starting a 60-day process to find a buyer.

If a buyer is not found, Swartz said, possible options include creating an all-digital operation with a greatly reduced staff, or closing its operations entirely.

In no case will Hearst continue to publish the P-I in printed form, Swartz said.

Regardless, he said, if no buyer is found, the P-I as a newspaper will not publish after the two months is up.

Swartz discounted rumors that Hearst, the P-I's owner since 1921, was interested in buying The Seattle Times newspaper.

He said the P-I has had operating loses since 2000, losing around $14 million this past year. Greater losses are anticipated this year, he said.


"P-I breaking news editor Candace Heckman said the staff appeared stunned in the newsroom after the meeting.

"People cried, people are still crying, editors are slamming their doors," she said. "There's talking of drowning their sorrows."

Several people have since left the building. A few people are working on stories, but, "I am looking around a newsroom that is not working very much."

Longtime P-I columnist Joel Connelly met reporters outside the globe-topped P-I building overlooking Elliott Bay. He said the newsroom resembled a "yellow jacket nest." Connelly said he rode down the elevator with manager editor David McCumber, who Connelly said summed up the morning with a single profanity."

That profanity? Decider.

Entirely unrelated...


I believe that's from this collection. Thanks to Allen for the comic and jenjis for the article.

digg this
posted by Ace at 05:10 PM

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